Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Reworking and preparing...

A couple years back I took a comedy writing class where the scenes I wrote wound up developing into The Alice 65. I reread my notes and printouts from that time, today, to see if they could help me find a way to bring more humor to my work. Make some bits funny, even if the rest was dramatic or tragic or action-packed...and what it's done is give me ideas on bettering A65 when I do the book.

Some of them are humorous, but most are ways to deepen the characters, oddly enough. I mean, I know I'm never going to be the kind of writer who can put out a script or story like Something About Mary or Dumb and Dumber or Talladega Nights. The closest I've come is The Lyons' Den, which is another writer's tale taken to a farcical, almost absurdist, level...and The Lavender Curse, about a tough cop having his mind switched with his unloved mother-in-law's just before he's set to make a big arrest and she's to appear in a beauty pageant...which I thought was funny but apparently no one else did. And for which I no longer own the rights so can do nothing about.

I do have some funny bits in The Cowboy King of Texas...but that's really more of a dramatic-romance than a romantic-comedy-western. And is based on John Millington Synge's The Playboy of the Western World; I just Americanized it.

That story is satirical from its inception -- a man who killed his father is elevated into heroic status by an isolated town, but when the dead man turns up alive, the town turns on the hero. My favorite bit is in the third act, when the father slips into town and no one knows who he is except one woman who's helping the hero hide the truth. As they're talking, people are beginning to link father with son, so she tries to make out like the father's gone crazy from drink...and winds up making people think she's the crazy one. And that setup's from the play.

Horace Walpole once said -- The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel. I guess I do too much of the latter and not enough of the former to figure out how to switch sides.

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