Thursday, May 31, 2012

Humor in creative writing

  I believe any story can benefit from a touch of humor and I have a tendency to add it, regardless of the type of story I am crafting. Humor is so much a part of my life that I incorporate it in my writing without planning it. This is because I have a penchant for finding the funny side of every situation. Therefore, when I sit to write something based on a real life story, the funny parts erupt easily. This does not mean that everybody will find them funny. Humor can be subjective.
   Three months ago, I had to take a plane, and , on passing through the security check, the alarms started ringing. The alarms would ring every time I tried to proceed, and this unexpected situation led to a chain of hilarious scenes. My husband was very annoyed but I found the experience amusing and it gave me enough material to write a short story.
   I checked some books about the craft of writing seeking advice on this, but I didn't find anything new. If you need some ideas on how to add humor to your story think about the amusing side of every situation you want to create. Dialogues give you the chance to let the funny spark shine even if you are writing drama. For example, having two characters whose interests are at odds can be a nice trigger for a humorous situation.
   Images and metaphors can serve a funny purpose. Exaggeration and overstatement make people laugh and you can play with the details. Characters with contradictions can become a source of irony and you can play with them to great comic effect.
  Do you like to have a touch of humor in your stories? Come and share your ideas and experiences.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Points of view in creative writing

There is a general modern trend to believe that writers cannot change the point of view in one single story when it is written from one character's perspective. I have read this in online forums and critiques of other peoples' stories. There may be editors out there who express this idea but this should be considered a personal opinion, and an opinion is not a rule.
 I am reading The House of Mirth and found that the author of this book tells the story in second person from the main character's perspective (Lily Bart). However, whenever Lily has a conversation with another character the writer ventures to get inside the other characters' minds. We learn something about the feelings and emotions of the characters interacting with Lily by getting inside their minds even though the story is told from Lily's perspective; in other words, the writer becomes omniscient at times.
   Have you ever tried this? Do you feel uncomfortable when a writer does it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New tenants over our door

We have new tenants: a family of robins built a nest over our door. I took a picture of their beautiful nest without disturbing them.

 Robins are very cute. The American robin's chest is orange. Its eggs are light blue. Robins hop along the ground after rainstorms, or in freshly overturned soil, looking for worms and insects. As harbingers of spring Robins presage new beginnings.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

On why I like George Orwell

 My favorite writers are those who seem to talk to me on a personal level. They either put into words something I'd like to express myself, or they reveal a lot about human nature. I also admire writers who dare to reveal new insights and ideas that leave me reflecting after I finish the read. Those books can spark an inner transformation; they have a spiral thought-provoking effect that leads to new insights and thoughts.
   I feel relieved to read their work, as if I were finding a new friend with whom I can share my own reflections. This happens to me every time I sit to read George Orwell's stories and essays. I am now reading Down and Out in Paris and London and I'm planning to read more of his books.
    I recently finished '1984' and 'Animal Farm'. Both are thought-provoking stories and I appreciate his way of revealing so much about the dynamics of the societies he portrays. There is a timeless universality in them. Here is an essay I wrote about these tales and I analysed their interesting similarities. Enjoy it.

1984 and Animal Farm