"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place."
- Mark Twain
In Stina Lindenblatt's “Cool Links Friday”, she shared humor links. I commented on her post:
I'm doing a challenge to infuse humor in my writing and read humorous books this month, so I'm going to check out those links. Thanks!
She asked me if I was going to write about humor.
Hmm, good idea for a blog post….
I thought, I may not exercise regularly or eat sensibly, but I’d do 12 literary resolutions. So I sent a request to some bloggers to join me. I started with 5 other participants, but as of April, I think it might be down to Len Lambert and me.
Here’s the short version of the literary challenges:
January: Read a classic that has always been on your list.
February: Write for at least 15 minutes every day.
March: Attend at least two author readings. After hearing from the author, read the book.
April: Find some of the best humor writing and see what makes you laugh out loud. Then, give yourself a humor writing assignment.
May: Spend the month rereading your old work. Invite one piece back into your life for revisions, and a second chance.
June: Get an anthology of poetry and read the same poem twice every day—once in the morning, and once at night.
July: Spend two hours a week working on one long piece.
August: Reread your favorite book from childhood. Why did that book make such an impression on you?
September: Submit to your dream of being a writer. Submit your work to a contest, a local newspaper, a literary journal.
October: Read a best-selling mystery. What can you learn from a well-paced page-turner?
November: Jump on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon and try to write a novel in a month.
December: Buy books, give books, talk about books, and spread your love of literature throughout the holidays.
"In one painless year, you’ve become an active participant in the literary community. You’ve read a classic, you’ve created new work, and you’ve heard new work, you’ve supported authors and not once were you encouraged to get more exercise or cut back on sweets and alcohol."
Here’s how I’ve done so far:
January, I read Pride and Prejudice. A few times, I wished I hadn’t chosen a Victorian classic, but I persevered. February, I started off strong, but then faltered. During February break, I made up with big bouts of writing. I learned I probably won’t ever write for fifteen minutes a day. March, the right writers weren’t speaking by me (though I did see Alice Hoffman in January). So I found interviews on-line for two books I planned to read.
April is humor month.
I read Gossip from the Girls' Room: A Blogtastic Novel by Rose Cooper. What a humorous voice. But I didn’t read it in April so it didn’t count. No matter, I would read Hex Hall. I’d heard it was funny. It was! Now I have to read the sequel, Demonglass.
When I write, I always try to infuse humor into the manuscripts, so this one I have down. Probably. The protagonist’s friend is over the top at times. And I found ways to add humor at my protagonist’s naivety in flashbacks of her childhood.
No matter what the genre (except humor), writers can write the heavy stuff. Writers can make readers think. But as writers and readers, we also need to laugh. Life is hard enough. So, of all the literary challenges, this is my favorite one.
I’ll skip NaNoWriMo, but I plan to do the rest of the challenges. And I may try this (or another version of it) next year. I’ve learned a lot about my writing self. As writers, we often just plug away with the same old, same old. Sometimes we need a challenge.
No physical exercise required.
“A laugh is a surprise. And all humor is physical. I was always athletic, so that came naturally to me.”
- Chevy Chase
Would you try a literary resolution challenge?
Do you infuse humor in your writing?