Balancing Humor and Action in your stories.
I Smell Sheep converged on PhoenixComicon 2012 in full sheepy fashion! One of the first panels we sat in on was 'Balancing Humor and Action in your stories' hosted by Gini Koch, Marsheila Rockwell, Kevin Hearne, Sam Sykes and Kris Neri.
Not only was this an educational talk for readers but also writers who came out to get the inside tips from the guys and gals who are writing some amazing hit stories out on the market today. Mixed in with a large amount of humor, amongst the panel of authors itself, this hour event floated right by with pure entertainment. And by the way this panel was completely packed, standing room only. (Yeah, the authors are THAT good!)
Some of the panel is transcribed below:
Question: Mixing humor and action is something that can add to the story or detract from a scene, how do you find the balance?
Gini: I think that part of each one of us writes in our own sense of humor. Of course all of us are funny and witty and attractive. We understand that you all think that too. [Audience laughs] But in some cases you are balancing and adding in humor which can lighten tense situations but it can also highlight that a situation is tense based on what characters are doing.
In terms of how, I'm a very linear writer so I don't put a lot of pressure on myself to be able to describe how I write otherwise it stops being organic and so forth. Something to add, I really should have prepared something cause there are a lot of people staring at me going, "So, what's your point?" [Audience laughs] My point is that it's a balance and everyone will come to that differently and if you're writing it, there's no wrong way to do it. And for readers it all depends what you like. Some like sly humor some like more overt.
Q: How do you balance the action scenes in with humor?
Kevin: I would say head down to the floor (of the convention) and buy a Spiderman comic book because honestly if you just take one of those scenes and use it as a writing exercise. That's character driven humor. He was always a wise-ass in making fun of whoever he was fighting against. And I'm actually looking forward to the new movie because of the previews I've seen, they have put a lot more of that smart-aleck tone into the guy. And that's what I fell in love with when I was a kid. Here's Spiderman going around beating up dudes more powerful then him and making jokes the whole time.
I actually think of comic books when I am writing the action scenes because I grew up reading them so much. I am not a fighter. Look at me. [Audience laughs] But I have to imagine how things are going to work. So a lot of my old X-Men comics and Spiderman help me visualize stuff. Without having any martial arts training whatsoever. I mean some authors are like (in very deep gruff voice) "I beat up bears for breakfast." And "I have 5 blackblets and you have...no belt." [Audience laughs] So, and I'm like you're right but I can write it too because I've seen other people beat each other up.
If you've yet to check out any of the mentioned above authors you can find links to their books below. Truly a fun experience.
Photographed by: Scott Daniel
I have a signed post card from both Kevin Hearne and Sam Sykes, Marsheila bookmark and Gini. Make sure to list the following below to be entered to win:
1. Your Email Address
2. What kind of humor do you enjoy?
3. Double entries if you follow the blog.
Contest is open to EVERYONE and ends June 6th at midnight!