Tuesday, July 10, 2012
My Inner-Sadist's name is Dave
ME: You're such a pessimist.
You get the idea. We had similar arguments involving words like naive and optimist.
I like happy things. I like puppies and rainbows and libraries. I hold on to every glimmer of hope I can find, meaning I do my best to consider The Road a happy, hopeful book.
So realizing that the ending of my book was going to be more intense and ambiguous than I originally thought it out to be was strange enough. What was even more strange, though, was how thoroughly I enjoyed writing it.
Maybe it's my tendency to see a lot of hope where there is barely any, but writing my sad(ish) ending rejuvenated rather than depressed me. And getting feedback from my English major friends that basically added up to "I totally loved it, jerk-face" made me nearly giddy with glee. It also made me want to evil laugh like Vincent Price.
Now I am left trying to reconcile this happy, optimistic, humorous real-life side of me with this somber, harsh, somewhat sadistic authorial part of me. And now that its come to my attention, I'm realizing how far back it goes. All the way to high-school, in fact, where my subject matter consisted of a lot of single moms and old men whose wives had left them. When I'm talking with my friends its generally about happy stuff like the Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Chris Evans' butt and I don't know why such a major shift happens when I sit down to write fiction.
So, basically, I've been reading a lot of Dave Barry and Steve Martin to try and see how funny people do it on the printed page. It may not be natural for me, but I want to experiment with and try out some happy, funny stories. Maybe they'll be total crap, but the point is to stretch muscles anyway, right?
Do you have a disparity like this between your real-life and writer selves? If you write funny, how do you do it?