Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Blog: "Laughing Out Loud" by Pauline F. Micciche

Does your writing make people laugh? Mine doesn’t.  It tends to be gloomy. I’d been trying to write with a lighter tone to see how it works for me.  Only I didn’t know how. So when I saw a five line squib in the local newspaper about the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop I thought I might be able to learn a more light-hearted approach from the humor experts there.  I registered.
I wasn’t disappointed. Two of the sessions I attended were especially helpful, How I Converted 7,000 Hours of Work Into $10 Hard Cash and Then Turned a Single Stupid Idea into $37,000! by Tim Bete and The Six Million Dollar Column: How to Write Bigger, Funnier and Faster by Tracy Beckerman.
Tim believes that almost all humor comes from two ideas that don’t go together.  Tracy breaks humor down into its components. According to her, humor comes from the reader’s ability to relate to the setup, unexpected elements, and the humorous use of language. She sees three theories or approaches to humor. They include a situation in which one person takes advantage of another, incongruity between parts of a sentence or paragraph, and building up the story to some sort of relief.  She also shared twenty-two tools for creating humorous language, some of which are related.

When I got home I started writing what I hoped would be a funny report on my experience at the workshop.  But how to tell if I’d succeeded? I asked my husband to read it. He smiled at the end. Not what I’d hoped for. Then Tim’s presentation came to my rescue. He suggested submitting your writing to the local newspaper.  I researched the newspapers in my area. Not wanting to have the topic go stale or cool my own enthusiasm, I concentrated on newspapers who accepted contact via e-mail or Facebook. So I contacted the Springfield News Sun, the Fairborn Daily Herald, the Dayton City Paper, and the Dayton Daily News.  My post made it onto the Fairborn Daily Herald. No-one has liked it or commented on it – yet.
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Pauline Micciche writes fiction as P. F. Palm in the rare moments she isn't snuggling with her husband (Richard Palm) in Fairborn, Ohio.
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Photo: Mountain Man Rick ratcheting up the humor or his beard.

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