Thursday, November 12, 2009
These Shoes Make Me Laugh
Okay, they really only make me giggle, but still, they get a reaction out of me. I can just picture the poor woman walking down the street, tilting backward because it's impossible to stand up straight. Seriously, is that Barbie wearing them? Every novel, even the most serious one, should at least garner that--a giggle or two. So how do we manage to bring in a little bit of humor? Donald Maass gives us some suggestions in The Fire In Fiction. Hyperbole: Take similes and metaphors; then exaggerate them into the outrageous and unexpected. Irony: Don't be afraid to point it out, build it up, and have your characters react to it. Overreaction: Let your characters have over-the-top reactions to the little catastrophes. These are only a snippet of what Maass talks about, but the bottom line is, exaggerate at some level. Maass says, "Even a serious novel needs to occasionally exaggerate for effect." Well, you heard him. Go exaggerate!