Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vicki Batman: You are so Funny-- Really?

You are so Funny-- Really? 

I never knew. I grew up a shy child. Mom always said she could get my youngest sister to go in the convenience store and buy milk before I would. I couldn't stand being embarrassed and was uncomfortable about doing stuff. Yep, nowadays, we say immature and that was probably the case.

Eventually, I grew up and learned no doesn't mean no all the time and I wouldn't die doing things. I developed more confidence in my capabilities. I married Handsome. After kids came, two girlfriends and I went on an overnight getaway to a small town which holds a Christmas home tour. Après dinner and seeing the houses, we put on our jammies and settled in to good ol' girl talk. One friend said, "You are so funny."

 I had no words. That kind of compliment had never floated my way. Astonished, I replied, "Really?"

 "Yes, you are."

 I never knew.

So when I began writing, the funny stuff seeped into my work. I love writing witty banter. The greatest compliment I've had is when people say "you made me laugh out loud."

How do I do it? I'll give myself credit and say some is natural. Mostly, I work hard to pick the perfect word, words, phrase, sentence. I even make up words.

For example, in my latest story, "San Diego or Bust," the hero finally proposes to the heroine (only she doesn't want him after the trip from hell). Here's what I wrote:

I inhaled. “No, it can’t wait. We need to talk right now about you and me.”

Still staring down the street, he rolled his hand. “And?”

“We’re finished. Done. Over.”

Slowly, he rotated my way and removed his glasses. Confusion passed through his eyes. “Finished?”

He couldn't be this dense—could he? “Yep. Adios. Hasta la vista.”

“I don’t get it.”

I spelled it out. “We...are not...going to date...anymore.”

Davis cocked his head. “Is this because I didn’t propose?”

He really was that dense.

He dropped to his knee and removed something from his pants' pocket. “Jill, will you marry me?”

Oh. My. God. My hands clapped my cheeks. This was surreal. Three days ago, I’d hoped he’d propose; only now, I didn’t want it. Our marriage would have been one big, huge, horrendous mistake.

A quick look at the others in the holding area told me they were staring at the scene unfolding between us. My body sizzled with heat. “Davis, please get up.” When he shook his head and didn't move, I said, “Your pants will get dirty.”

You might note that Davis is a tad dense ('cause he's a little self-centered) and my heroine spells things out to him. She says "Yep" (not yes), Adios (not good bye), and for more emphasis "Hasta la vista." So three times. In design, three elements are more pleasing. I figured that could be so in writing as well.

Then Davis said, "Is this because I didn't propose?" And our heroine thinks, he really is that dense--something we already know-and where is this going anyway? Uh oh thoughts begin to surface.

Let's look at the phrase "big, huge, horrendous mistake." Again the three times and each word is bigger than the last. Can't you imagine someone holding their hands and letting the space between grow large and larger until…explode!

So Davis proposes. Our heroine says "no" and he still is down on his knee. Earlier, I painted the picture of Davis always looking perfect. On one knee for a long while, he might begin to look funny.  People are staring. And when he shakes his head and won't get up, the heroine said the one thing sure to get him to his feet, "Your pants will get dirty."

He-he-he. That sentence always has me in stitches. I have to say the line just hit me in the head when I read through (one of a bazillion times). I HAD to add it.

So riddle me this, do you write funny and if so, do you have tricks of the trade? Do you like to read romantic comedy?



Find Vicki Batman with a diet Coke and lately, gourmet malt balls, typing away and doing dastardly deeds to her characters at   OR at: . Find "San Diego or Bust" and "Store Wars" at:    .




Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

And if you want more funny stuff, go to this site for a free read:

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Vicki,

I love to add a little humor to my writing too. That's what makes a story come alive. But like you say, it's hard sometimes to find the right words.

Personally, my humor is subtle, both in life and writing. The example that comes to mind is in my May release. While attempting to feed one of his newly discovered twin toddlers, the hero announces that he's up to his armpits in smushed carrots. A few minutes later his cousin asks him if he's taken to wearing his food. While swiping the mush off his bare arm the hero replies, "Not even my food."

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Pam, and that is true too! Most of us moms have had all kinds of weird stuff smashed on our bodies, clothing, house... Oh the story, I could tell about #2 son and the grocery store.

I will stick in a word and work and work to get the right phrasing. It's not easy. Thanks for posting.

Patricia said...

I love to read anything funny in a book because I find it takes unusual talent to do so and it shakes it up a little. I loved this excerpt, Vicki, and the part about his pants getting dirty is perfect.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Patti! Maybe I have perseverance over talent. LOL. I'm glad you liked the excerpt. The pants part is hilarious to me. Hugs

Melissa Keir said...

What a great excerpt! Can guys really be that dense... you bet! I love a touch of humor in my stories. It is a part of our lives and should be our books!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Thanks, Melissa! Humor is in our lives and I love it in my work. I remember reading a very popular author when she was new and thinking "she writes funny." That's when I knew romantic comedy is here to stay. Hugs!

Jodi said...

Hey, Vicki! Your writing is always so laugh-out-loud hilarious...I don't care by what means you get there...just keep it up! I remember an RWA conference I attended at which Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer were explaining their long distance collaboration on the release of their first big hit. I came away from that standing-room-only conference with throbbing ribs and mascara running down my cheeks from laughing so hard. Those two polar opposites teaming up to write romantic comedy/suspense? One of Jenny's remarks was: "I told Bob that just because two characters sleep together doesn't mean we have to kill them." =)

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Thank you, dear sweet Jodi! Even me as an author can read a line I've written and still crack up over it. That "dirty pants" scene is one.

I was at the conference and remember laughing a lot too. I'm betting Jenny added all the funny parts and Bob did the kill 'em parts.

Thanks for stopping. Hugs

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Vicki that was a great scene. I could see the poor guy down on one knee doing what he thought was right and the girl just with that expression. Great writing!

I sometimes use subtle humor in my work. I have my heroine use sarcasm and sometimes that is funny. But I don't set out to write funny. I think it's a gift. I'm not a comedian in life either.:)

Marsha said...

Missed this, Vicky, in doing my own Thoughts on Thursday blog and trying to get out of town for RomCon. (It was so fun to see you there.) Not to mention the email issues, which are better, but not fixed.
Thanks for writing "funny." You add to the length of our lives. Every time we LOL, we live a bit longer. True. (I just don't remember the numbers of how long to laugh to how many months.) Even in romantic suspense (my genre), it's good to have a bit of laughter. I do it some, but it's almost by accident. I need to be more deliberate. My good friend and writer, Jerrie Alexander, who writes dark and gritty, slips in those little lines at just the right time to relieve tension, or make a point. So keep on doing what you do best, Vicki.

Amy Jarecki said...

Humor definitely livens the pace! Nice post :-)