"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Monday, August 1, 2011

Comedy vs Tragedy

So I thought I would pose this question today...which do you find harder to write, Comedy or Drama? Personally I think Comedy is so much harder. More specifically, I lack the confidence in my sense of humor translating well to a public audience. Or in layman's terms, how do I know that other people will think what I think is funny too?

With the adverse, I seem to be proficient in writing angsty dramatic goodness. That's what I like to write. (Although I love memorable, funny, and sarcastic characters but I don't seem to be good at writing them - not that I don't try).

I know there are other people who are out there that have fantastic senses of humor that never fail to put people into hysterics, but can't write a tear jerker scene worth a damn.

So I can't help but wonder which happens more ofter? Which do you think is easier to write? Which is harder? And I guess more importantly - have you ever tried to improve on the later and what helped turn it around for you?

12 comments:

Kelly Hashway said...

I've been told that I write comedy well, but I don't ever set out to be funny. My characters decide that. I don't ever see it as me being funny. I feel the same way about drama. At my regional writers conference I did a first chapter critique and the editor that critiqued mine said I did a great job of showing my MC's pain in the opening chapter. Again, though, I feel like it's my character who did this well, not me.

Annie Boreson said...

I like to write both, although maybe comedy comes a little easier. That being said, what I think is funny and what someone else does is a whole different ball game. I just write what I want and hope someone finds it okay to read. Maybe it comes from life...if you've had your share of humor and pain, you can probably write both.

Beverly Diehl said...

Both can be tricky. I have a hard time writing straight drama without going over the top, soap opera melodramatic style. (Maybe I should try writing those scenes without the big "da-da-dum!" style soundtrack playing in my head.)

My characters and I tend to look for and remark on the ridiculous. So, some people think we're funny, and others, not so much.

I think like anything thing else, if you study it, you can GET to be good at it. Lucille Ball felt she had no innate "funniness" at all, she worked very hard to learn the language of comedic expression.

C.M. Villani said...

Kelly - I completely get that. Each Character definitely has their own voice and personality, but I think there still has to be an inherently comedic/dramatic side to you for it to shine in your characters. You're just might be very good at sneeking out through them. :D

C.M. Villani said...

Beverly - :) haha. I do the same thing! I'll have my music playing in the background and suddenly realize I'm going way overboard when certain songs/ artists come on.

I will say though that, in my opinion, trying to "learn" comedic skills is damn near impossible. I think its one of those things you're either born with or your not. :/

C.M. Villani said...

Annie - I envy you. :) I wish Comedy came easy for me. Sarcasm yes...but not true comedy. But that is too true. You can only write what works for you and hope everyone else catches up. :)

thelmaz said...

I only wrote drama until my editor asked me if I thought I could write a funny book. I tried and after that I wrote several.

MuMuGB said...

It is a hard one. I tend to prefer to write comedy, because I believe that books should make you feel good! That said, I always end up writing bittersweet stories...Go figure!

Samantha Sotto said...

Good question! Comedy comes more naturally to me. I always feel drained after I write dramatic scenes. Nothing chocolate can't fix, of course :D

C.M. Villani said...

Thelmaz - haha. I think that's great. Talk about jumping in with both feet. Were you surprised?

C.M. Villani said...

Muriel - Well I always thought have a good mix makes for a better story. All drama or all comedy would seem a bit one sided I think.

C.M. Villani said...

Sam - haha. Amen to that. :)

You know I am actually pretty surprised that most of the commenters think Comedy is easier to write! Who'd of thunk? :D

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