Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Maybe I Don't Want To Be Funny

Some of you may remember, back in the good old days of this blog, that I started out with a goal of trying to become funny. I wanted to learn the art of humor in writing, since it was an area I was seriously lacking. See, I've always had a knack for taking myself, and everyone else around me, entirely too seriously.

But I do enjoy a good joke. I love a sitcom that makes me laugh out loud. I nearly pee my pants reading a short piece of humor. So I wanted to bring that kind of humor into my own writing.

I've learned a lot since then...the good old days...you know, about ten months ago. I'm certainly no expert, and most of the time I still make things too serious. But I've figured out how to interject a moment of laughter into my writing now and again.

But one thing I've also learned is that I'm not sure I actually like reading humor. At least, not anything of any serious length. A short snippet here or there is great. But anything longer?

See, I started reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. Some have suggested that I certain cannot call myself a fan of science fiction if I haven't read this book. I put it off a long while, but finally, while sitting in the back row before Sara Gruen's booksigning event for Water For Elephants, I noticed that the back of my chair was up against the science fiction section, and right next to my head sat Doug Adams' books. So I bought one.

When I bought it, I read the introduction, and thought it was hysterical. I laughed out loud several times over the course of a mere two pages. This was going to be good.

Chapter one was also funny. But then, by chapter two, I was getting rather tired. I got it already. The book pokes fun at the seriousness of the world, with absurdities all around. Fine. Great. Original. But now let's get on with the story already!

Last night, I finished chapter five, and the humor has become tedious. Rather like watching one of those Ernest movies. You know what I mean? (Vern?) Funny in small doses, but not quite able to sustain itself for a full two hours.

I recognize that Adams' isn't at fault. It is me. I'm just not the right type for those kind of writing.

So I started thinking about this and decided that maybe I don't want to be funny. Maybe I prefer being serious. And just maybe if I like reading stuff that is serious, others do, too. Maybe I can survive as a writer taking myself too seriously. Maybe.

We'll see.

Oh, and on a complete unrelated note...last night I had a dream that I sold my book and got a $30,000 advance, allowing my wife and I to use this as a down payment so we could finally move out of our cramped home and into a "real house". It was a rather nice dream. Too bad I had to wake up.

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