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Shwebb
08-12-2005, 07:27 AM
I went to a writers' group tonight, and present at the group was a writer who has had a book published--which I thought was great.

Anyhoo, I read an essay I'd written, and it got a few really good laughs (if I say so, myself). Which was the reaction I was hoping to get.

When I read over the comments that others wrote on my submission to the group, her comment (along w/ some grammar corrections that were actually wrong) was, "Is it genuinely funny on its own, or does it succed because of your tone of voice? Point?"

What the heck is that supposed to mean? Am I supposed to read everything I write in a deadpan? Am I doing something wrong here?

I'd be glad to have someone else read my essay, if anyone is interested. And if you can tell me how to post it.

I mean, I'm all up for constructive criticism--I'm not that thin-skinned, I hope. But is saying something like that really 'constructive?'

Given that this is only the second time I've ever brought something in to be critiqued, maybe I have the wrong idea on how the whole thing is supposed to work. But I'd love it if someone wanted to read the thing and let me know honestly what he/she thinks and what I can do to make it better, funnier.

maestrowork
08-12-2005, 08:31 AM
You can post it in Share Your Work. Just pick a sub-forum (mainstream, humor, etc.) and start a new thread and copy/paste your essay there.

Jamesaritchie
08-12-2005, 08:33 AM
I"Is it genuinely funny on its own, or does it succed because of your tone of voice? Point?"

What the heck is that supposed to mean? Am I supposed to read everything I write in a deadpan? Am I doing something wrong here?

r.

It's a legtimate question, and one every humor writer asks himself each and everytime he writes something. Written humor must be funny without tone of voice being par't of the equation. Oral storytellers have a big advantage when it comes to humor. They can use tone of voice and body language. Writers can't do this.

Written humor must be funny because of how it reads on the page, not because of how it sounds. All good humor writers ask this question of everything they write. Is it funny in print, or is it funny because of the way I read it.

JAlpha
08-12-2005, 08:40 AM
[QUOTE=Shwebb When I read over the comments that others wrote on my submission to the group, her comment (along w/ some grammar corrections that were actually wrong) was, "Is it genuinely funny on its own, or does it succed because of your tone of voice? Point?"

What the heck is that supposed to mean? Am I supposed to read everything I write in a deadpan? Am I doing something wrong here?

I'd be glad to have someone else read my essay, if anyone is interested. And if you can tell me how to post it.

I mean, I'm all up for constructive criticism--I'm not that thin-skinned, I hope. But is saying something like that really 'constructive?'

QUOTE]

I've been involved in several face to face crit groups over the past ten years, and there is something to be said about a writer's oral delivery of their own work.

It's a valid point, and the fix is easy. Most of the groups I am now involved in swap manuscripts, and we read each other's work to avoid the very thing your critquer was questioning.

If you like the group, and feel you are getting good feedback, then let this one comment roll off your back. Some people have more tact with their crits then others, and sadly some people just like to toss out their little "digs" --time will tell what type of critter you are dealing with.

Shwebb
08-12-2005, 04:03 PM
Thanks, y'all. I'll post it in the "Share Your Work." If she had a valid point, fine. I guess I'd have taken something like her comment better, too, if she'd said it to my face instead of writing it on the back page of my essay.


If you read it, don't hold back. Really, I can take it. I have to, if I want to produce anything worthwhile, right? :o

Shwebb
08-12-2005, 05:56 PM
Okay, it's posted under "Humor" in the "Share Your Work" section. At the very least, please let me know if you think it's:

a. too boring--couldn't finish reading it.
b. slogged through it, not amused.
b. mildly entertaining
c. moderately entertaining
d. laughed my butt off in places, but uneven
e. would someone pick me up from the floor, please? (not that I expect this one, but one can always hope, right? :o

RustyVanReeves
08-12-2005, 10:29 PM
Sounds like a stick in the mud. Some people like/dislike certain brands of humor. She didn't like your delivery.

aadams73
08-12-2005, 11:10 PM
Relax, it's genuinely funny.

Shwebb
08-12-2005, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the comments and feedback, folks, and for letting me know she did have a valid point--even if I didn't like the way she delivered it. And I'm grateful, aadams, that you found the story amusing.

Maybe I could sell tickets on eBay for face-to-face meetings w/ my mom?

:idea: