Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Sweet Spot in Prose and Comedy

All these postings about the similarities between writing stand-up and fiction, and I missed the big one. I mean gargantuan. If it had been a dinosaur it would have devoured me.
Perhaps it suddenly rang in my ears after studying Deacon's advice featured on here last month, or because I just wrote a routine that's been heavy on my heart, or due to me plotting a YA novella. Whatever the case, the skeletons under both arts revealed themselves to me.
Why do you like to write? For sure, there's a vanity element to it. Yeah, it's fun as well to turn a phrase or describe something colorfully in sparse wording. But if you shine the light deeper into your soul, you'll spot the real reason.
Because we're all bursting to tell the truth.
Lies surround us day to day like a growing breeze. Propaganda, the internet, advertising, your job -- they all spread it on thick in some way. It's so inconvenient to tell it like it is. So, in an artist's creative way, we like to sneak the truth in without bludgeoning the audience with it.
You've created these unique characters. The plot is tight. Your dialogue is cool. With much deliberation, you clipped parts that would slow the pace. And somewhere in that word count, you put your heart out there...because it's a safe place to do so.
Of course, our convictions can differ from others'. I find that where we all disagree the most is on the perception of a problem or how to solve one more than if something is day or night. But I digress. The point is: We all have two cents burning to get off our chests.
When I dismissed writing cutesy standup and went for a subject I feel strongly about -- the truth as I see it -- the payoff felt much better. We'll call it that artistic angle of persuasion.
For instance, optimism (or what it has morphed into in today's society more succinctly because there are no other good names for it) is annoying to me because it appears to ignore reality. Never wanting to offend anyone, yet dying to blurt out the way I see it, I worded my routine this way:
I'd love to be an optimist, but it's hard for me to understand them. They're mantra is, "The glass is half full." Well, if I'm on the couch with a half a highball of scotch and I got to get off my butt to pour some more, you can bet I'm going to drink what I got first. What do you know? Contrary to their cult beliefs, the glass really is half empty!
Gusto Dave

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