Funny Weird or Funny Ha Ha??

A post about humor in writing and my insecurity in that arena.

Welcome, friends!

So I am writing a book. Of this, I am sure. As to whether I believe it to be any good or not is entirely less certain. I consider myself a loyal follower of Vonnegut’s Creative Writing 101 and thus seek to not waste my reader’s time. The question lies in my ability to be successful in this endeavor. And thus, a couple bits from my nearly finished novel:

Excerpt 1: 

Attempting to avoid the worst of the rubble and trash on the ground, I make my way steady and slow towards the back garage doors that watched my neck get nipped into. They’re electronically locked and supposed to only allow entrance to those who pass the bio scan. Guess I’ll have to tell Bastian to put me on that list sooner rather than never, but for right now I’ll have to brush up on my old teenage tricks and find somewhere to break in. I know there’s a window, somewhere above the doors but not all the way up on the roof. I’m going to have to find a way to get up there, without drawing too much attention to myself.

…Or I could fall amongst the trash cans I had tried to use as ladders and create a huge ruckus alerting any and all ears in a five block radius that idiocy was occurring right here, right now. My pride is never going to let me live this little venture down, and neither is Bastian who just came running out the back door with a very shiny knife. A very large and shiny knife. Who the hell carries around a machete in this the religious wasteland of watching Eyes?

“Ace. What are you doing out here?”

 Dear Powers That Be mocking me at every turn, I really wish I knew. 

You know? Is that even kind of funny? I can’t tell. Picturing my protagonist being a clumsy goofball makes me smile, but hey, I’m fond of her already, so I’m a little biased. Physical humor, especially of the slapstick kind always makes me giggle, but how does that convey on paper? Is it funny? Cute? Mildly amusing in small doses??

And then there’s this:

Excerpt 2:

“Perhaps I should ask about you and Rodrigo instead.”

Huh? “Huh? What about us?” Did that seem out of left field? That was completely out of left field.

“You and him. With all the hugging and the nicknames. You guys together? Past and present?” He’s smirking! We’re in danger of being scooped by Mr. Tin Cup behind us and this jerk is implying gross things about my platonic friendship with my best platonic friend!

“I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” I say indignantly and I know it. Gosh, this buttmonkey. A man and a woman can totally be friends without it having to devolve into feelings and flowers and cards and hugs and affection and FLOWERS. “One. There was one single solitary huge you gross exaggerator you and you too have all of the nicknames for the friends. Nicknames are friendly. We are friends. Friends are nicknames!” Ok so that last bit is a bit muddled, but I think I confidently conveyed my point.

“I don’t know. Awful lot of protest for someone not responding.”

“Shush you, rumormonger. Nothing is going on between me and Big Blue. Nothing.” We turn another corner, getting further away from sanctuary with every step.

This kind of frantic babble is an accurate reflection of what goes on inside my head. Unfortunately for her, I have cursed Ace with a similar state of thinking. Funny or nah? I mean, how easy is it to tell I grew up watching all of The Buffy?

Right. Sooooo these are my concerns. Some of them. I’m so close to ‘finished’ but I’m insecure enough about the fruit of all this labor that I keep going back to tweek and tuck and revise and reflect. Hell, maybe I should just print the damn thing and send her off. Let my alpha readers break the news to me about how unfunny I truly am.

Awash in a sea of doubt,

Jessie Gutierrez

3 thoughts on “Funny Weird or Funny Ha Ha??”

  1. I find it funny, but I also know that this is exactly how you talk, and that you give nicknames to all of your friends 😀 As for not wasting your readers’ time, I had to go back and reread your intro, first excerpt, and follow-up because I had no context for what you were providing. I wasn’t sure if excerpt 1 was from Vonnegut or from your story until I recognized your main character, Ace. Just food for thought ❤

    1. Ha ’tis what I get for rambling on here at four am. XP I’m spooked my quirky mannerisms in real life don’t translate well on paper.

      1. I think once readers know they’re in your story (and in Ace’s head) that style will make more sense. I just didn’t know I was there until I had finished the excerpt.

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