On Writing

Back to Comedy

An excerpt from my next buddy cop comedy novel, Gunn & Balloo, as well as a perspective on why, when sad, I prefer to right funny rather than dive into melancholy.

Gunn & Balloo Excerpt: The Case Begins

Jenkins sat back, crossed her arms, and nodded. “This should be pretty simple. Mid City wants you to come through and confirm this isn’t homicide. Hollywood agent caught dead after a choke ‘n’ stroke.” Balloo began reviewing the case file along with Jenkins’ recount. “The wife didn’t know about the little love nest though. He’d had plans to meet her for lunch yesterday, but he never called in an excuse.”

“Seems like he was too tied up to get to the phone,” Balloo muttered while lifting a photograph from the file.

“Spare Mid-City your trademark wit, please,” Jenkins asked drily, and half-seriously.

Why Comedy?

What is happeninngThanks to the wealth of time my intermission from full time employment has, I’ve naturally started looking for a new project, and as often happens, I dipped my toes in the waters of about four different story ideas before settling on the next one.

Of the four, three of them were melancholy affairs. A pair of fantasy stories of a failed hero in a ruined world, and a third idea entirely to reflective of my own current circumstance: a man leaving LA or killing himself- unsure of which.

Can not evenIn short form, it’s been a rough month. Losing a job I held for eight years followed by my crashing and burning a potential relationship with someone I really liked- January was rough, and the ideas that I spent my time scribbling and playing with were commensurate with that.

When I could motivate to do any writing (I’ll admit, I spent a good amount of time on my couch feeling less than worthless), it was overwrought, sloppy and purple. It’s something of a matter of momentum for me: if I’m sad, then when I try to write sad the words and tone just gets this exponential application that ends up being overwrought.

What I’m best at, even and especially in moments of sadness and failure, is being funny- or trying to anyway.

CoolIn my opinion, the best emotion in writing is a matter of control, patience and measure. Earn your way to the big emotions and the grave tones. You can’t be greedy. You have to build to moments like a symphony, but provide a melody along the way that establishes the musical themes that make the crescendos soar- you have to build the runway to the flight.

Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, but when I’m in a place of sadness, disappointment or anger with myself, my writing becomes like a clumsy, drunk kid running around in circles flapping their arms wondering why they’re not taking off and tripping over themselves each time they take a leap.

Amazingly FunnyBut when my goal is to entertain and amuse, that’s something that gives me necessary control and restraint. The melancholy finds its way onto the page all the same because hey, there’s sadness in all comedy, but there’s also comedy in our sadness- so that’s why I’m less than surprised that as tempting as the other more dour projects were, this lighter, buddy cop fare is where I landed.

I haven’t said it in a while, and I think it’s time I start saying it again:

We move forward.

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