Love, Lust, Drama and Humor…What Fits in Women’s Fiction?

April 2, 2012

So I finished reading my manuscript…again, and in addition to the head hopping and a few transitions that I want to work on, there is something else I’d like to add, a little more humor. When I write my blogs I write the way I think. I just let things fall out of my brain and onto the page. Sometimes I find myself humorous. Sometimes I’m more serious. My favorite blogs are the ones that make me smile while I’m writing them, and even better…the ones that other people tell me made them laugh. It makes my day when I get an e-mail or a message from someone saying, “I read your post this morning, and I was laughing so hard my co-workers had to come over and see what was so funny.” (Thank you, Gayle.) Or, “I look forward to reading more of your hilarious adventures with Hunky Hubby.”

Those who know me, friends and family who are always so great about reading my blogs, are sometimes surprised when they read my blogs. For some reason many of them see me as a serious person…but that’s only because they see the serious, sometimes paranoid, occasionally nervous, and often scatterbrained mom of three sons. They can’t hear the narrative that is running through my head as life is happening to me. Of course if they could, they might be laughing at me instead of with me. (Some of them do this anyway.)

Back to my current WIP…well first, let’s talk about my years of writing non-fiction. Most of the magazine articles and newspaper columns I wrote were informative and factual, not a lot of humor in them. Maybe that’s because I was writing about parenting, cooking, and business communication. Or maybe it’s because I was in the middle of raising children, cooking and life’s general business, and I took it all so seriously. I’m not sure, but if I wrote the same things now, I’d definitely write them with a lot more humor. I’ll admit that when I read the parenting columns I wrote all those years ago, I laugh out loud. Oh don’t get me wrong, they weren’t meant to be funny, it’s just that I thought I knew so much about parenting, and wanted to do it “just right”…I am after all a perfectionist. (This may be news to some of you, but it’s true.) And now that my boys are young adults, well, I don’t think I need to say anymore.

So…really…anyway, my WIP…here and there throughout my manuscript I just let things fall out of my brain and onto the page, and I think it’s funny, but it’s not consistent with the style of the rest of my book. I see places where I’m holding back, where I almost went there, but stopped just short. I don’t know if that’s because most of the books I read have drama, romance, energy and lust, but few are funny, or because that’s the way I was taught to write, seriously. One of the comments that I’ve received several times from the people who have read parts of my manuscript is, “It reads like a romantic comedy,” and yet I keep trying to write it in a style more serious. Kind of like my life with Hunky Hubby, I keep trying to be serious about life, but the truth is, that even with the drama that happens (lay-offs, teen angst & crazy relatives—not that I have any),  the horror scenes that can come up (okay more serious here, blood gushing from a preschooler’s head, rolling a car with all three kids in it), the newsworthy events (the births of our sons, Hunky Hubby’s amazing test score, our moves across the west), well, somehow, I would still classify our life as a romantic comedy.

What do you think? Do you read women’s fiction and romance with humor? Do you write women’s fiction and romance with humor?  Do you wish there was more humor in women’s fiction and romance? Or do you think there is no place for humor in the books you read and write? Tell me, I’d love to know…

Tari

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