Open Book Blog Hop (wb 2 November 2020)

In her Open Book Blog Hop, Stevie today asked another interesting question:

Is humour an important element in your stories? Do you ever laugh at something you’ve written?

I split myself into three here, driven by the three different types of writing that I have attempted.

  1. For straightforward prose, I just reflect my own personality. I’m quite like Stevie in this respect. If I can see a humorous angle to something, I’ll try to exploit that in telling the story.

Being serious for a moment, I think that one of the things that the stroke did was to leave very few subjects off the table as regards making fun – because ultimately, the only thing in our power is how we regard things. And I don’t think that’s particularly a personal thing – I bet anybody who ever had some kind of serious illness would say the same.

  1. In terms of the fiction that I have written so far, the characters are just in my image. The character might seek to exploit the humour in a situation, just like I might. But I’m not deliberately writing humourous situations for them. Having said that, as a reader I have loved authors like Douglas Adams, who could write such nonsense that, putting it all together, it was genius! I’m just left in awe of the wondrous place that guy’s head must have been.
  2. In terms of the poetry, absolutely. Simple as that. My aim in 99% of my poetry is just to raise a smile on the reader’s face. Okay, a bit of thinking has gone into that, though, as well. If the poetry is going to be funny, at the very least it has to be understandable,

which means,

I’m not just going

to add line-breaks

Here and There

To make my prose

Appear poetic.

Okay, all you poets out there will tell me that there is a darned site more to poetry than that, that I have misrepresented your craft. And I have. But that’s my point – I feel I have to write such that I am easy to understand. Maybe one day I’ll write something complex, but that doesn’t float my boat right now.

Originally tagged: Open Book


  1. Good spin, doctor. One and two, yeah, can’t add. Three: poemetry. I struggle with most modern self-styled “poets.” I get it. I just think a white canvas on a white wall just to be queer in the fifties sense of the word is pretentious and shameful. Someone is going to point me to Keats, Longfellow, or some other musty old master and say, “Lookit, you boob, they did it too!” Don’t care. Tossing words on a page (or on a screen dustbin) does not make art, is not clever and is so much salad greens with sawdust and wood chips, intellectually inedible. Oh, yeah, this old gaff likes capital letters and periods, too. What a dork I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like poetry because, if I use it for something serious, I can hopefully get the same point across, but with much more subtlety. The same is true of fiction. But the bottom line with both of these is that they have to be understandable by people, so in that sense I agree with you.
      But most of my poems are silly. T(hey’re designed just to raise a smile and in five minutes, will be forgotten. Even I forget them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, your art, and it is art, is by design sometimes silly, but clever and in disguise fools the reader into thinking. Your serious pieces less effective only because the covid-, politics-, economics-weary audience wants a break, They deserve it. You provide it. And I could be mistaken, but you do CRAFT your work, you don’t ignore convention and toss lettuce, wood chips, and bull dung into a bowl. I admire poets. I don’t care for pretentious doofuses. Thanks for taking time to humor this old gaff.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I must admit that I read quite sparsely, but certainly the genres I used to read most had no humour at all. It was nice, now and again, to have an interlude, something like Adams. I think Terry Pratchett would be worth a try too, although I have never read anything of his, to my regret. He only lived about 10 miles away from me, apparently, although I only found this out after he died. But just that ability to keep this alternate universe locked away in his head…


    • For me, the time when it becomes inaccessible is the time to stop. I don’t want readers scratching their heads, saying “huh?”. I’d far sooner they chuckled and said “stupid git” or something.

      Liked by 1 person

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