Friday, December 5, 2008

A Vampire Walks into a Bar....

I'm not a very funny writer. Scary? Sometimes. Evocative? I'd say yes. But I don't write the kind of laugh out loud moments -- or even quiet chuckle moments -- that would classify me as a humorist.

Which doesn't mean I don't think humor and the paranormal should mix, just that I don't write it. The closest I come is a touch of wit -- like having the Mayor doing a particularly benign crossword puzzle in the spec episode of Buffy I wrote, or pointing out the coroner's love of Grateful Dead teddy bears in my spec X-files.

My favorite kinds of paranormal have moments of levity in them. The snappy one-off comebacks of Buffy. The tomato as villain fruit in the Kim Harrison Witch series.

We laugh when we're amused, but we also laugh when we're afraid. The two are connected on a primal level. But as any comedian will tell you, "dying is easy, comedy is hard." It takes a special type of writer to make people laugh. I think it's as much a natural talent as singing on key. Sure you can learn to warble like a canary, but it's never quite the same as for someone for whom it just flows.

I'm hard-pressed to point out the funny moment in my manuscript. It's not all gloom and doom, mind you, but it's just not funny -- at least not to me. Unless my writing comes across as unintentionally funny, which is possible.

I admire those who can lighten up the darkness. It's not my scene.

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