Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas and Comedy

1. The She & Him Christmas album is wonderful. Does this mean that I've already begun listening to Christmas music? Unconfirmed.

2. While Deadline Hollywood is proclaiming that "the spec market is as dead as disco," Scott Myers just reported the 84th spec sale of the year. Spec sales are up 84% from last year. So, um, yeah. Drop down the disco ball, 'cause I guess disco is coming back too.

3. I have three major projects rolling right now. My assignment for V., NaNoWriMo, and rewriting The Exit Strategy. My goal for this draft of The Exit Strategy is to make it funny. REAL funny. As close to Bridesmaids funny as I can get. I'm reading "Show Me the Funny!" from Peter Desberg & Jeffrey Davis to help. I've already found some nuggets of wisdom, and I'm only in chapter two.

Something I'm definitely going to keep with me while rewriting is something that came out of an interview with Walter Bennett (The Bill Cosby Show, The Steve Harvey Show, In the House, etc. and more). When asked what he does to make a story funnier, he said, "If it's not funny, it's usually because it's not the worst thing that can happen."

I've employed this strategy already, subconsciously. I bumped character relationships up to the next "awful-ness" level. I picked out dialog that could be more inflammatory. I tried to utilize the setting to get the most embarrassment out of situations that i could. I really want to push this next draft so that the worse things that can happen to my main character, do happen. Because, like Bennett says, it works. If you're working with a scene that's moderately funny and you want to know how to kick it up a notch, ask yourself -- is this truly the worst thing that could happen to my character?

This is also so helpful when writing any kind of story and figuring out the main conflict/problem. Figure out what your characters fears or faults are, and play your problem into them. If your character is a coward, require them to show courage. If they are shy, make them step out of their comfort zone. If they are proud, humble them. Find the opposites in your story and use them to create conflict.

And when you need a little serenity from all the craziness that you're instigating, listen to a little Christmas music. It soothes the soul.

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