HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Today, I have fellow TWRP author, Ashantay Peters here to tell us a bit about her New Year's resolutions & her latest release, Death Under the Mistletoe.
Happy New Year! What a delightful phrase, a harbinger of opportunity, hopes and burgeoning intentions. A chance to write resolutions I really have no plan to pursue. Like losing that pesky ten pounds that continues to stalk me, jumping me in the alley when I venture out at night.
Oh, sure, I’ll pad my list. For example, one of my goals for 2014 is to finish the two books I’ve started. I’m already well on the way with both, so that’s not a stretch. Hey, I’m setting goals, not impossible standards. Although, I do have a goal that I know will be difficult to reach.
I want to write funny. Better.
Stories featuring witty and quick dialogue are fun and somewhat hard to find. Too bad, because humor is the social lubrication that allows people to coexist. Well, humor along with flirting, which is a skill that rarely appears anywhere outside the big screen or really great books.
Unfortunately, comedic writers are not always given their due, because, well, many people think writing funny is simple. But laughing at yourself is not always easy, is it? So here I am, about to get serious about being funny.
Humor is individual. And as with all writing, humor draws on the author’s experiences. Humorous dialogue (or asides) can be used to reveal, mask or define a character’s emotional response to whatever conflict they face.
Sometimes I’m not sure about a character’s motivation until I grasp their comedic response to a situation. Is the heroine attempting to cover her nerves about standing beside that sexy guy, or is she confident in her sexuality? The smarter humorist digs deeper, because comedy has its roots in misfortune. Writing a better funny means that instead of going for a superficial laugh, the author shows the heroine coming to terms with a difficult situation and growing through her weaknesses.
Writing humor well means exposing a character’s vulnerability in a way that makes them look strong rather than weak. That also goes for the protagonists and secondary characters. I believe a key to humor is finding the common bond that ties women (or men) together through similar or shared experiences. The connection often has its roots in disaster, but the character’s—and (hopefully) reader’s--reaction is funny rather than reflective.
Though, let’s face it, you often have to reflect on something before seeing the light side. In that way, I believe the humorist faces conflict, reflects on it and blows raspberries in response. And in the writing, takes us on the same journey, but with a smile on our face and the knowing that sometimes we can overcome conflict with laughter.
I hope I’ve shown you through these few paragraphs that comedic writing is harder than it looks, and no less challenging than writing drama. Perhaps humor is not a genre you prefer. No problem. Just, please, don’t discount the work.
Besides writing funny better, my other real New Year wish is for you to achieve whatever writing goals you set for yourself. No joke!
Hoping to reconcile with her best friend, Lily Carlson agrees to maid of honor duties at a Christmas wedding. Holidays are already difficult, but this event promises emotional hell before the tree drops its first needles. The groom is Lily's last lover, a man who dumped her in public. When he's found hanging at the altar--under the mistletoe and without pants--Lily is the main suspect.
Gray Bronson left town five years earlier. Now he's back to act as best man even though he hates the groom. Years ago, Gray revoked Lily's virgin club membership and he's determined to win her back. But Lily is being framed, and her own actions make her look guilty.
A trail of broken hearts leads to the murderer, but Lily's celebration may be fatally delayed. Will the hapless lovers find a happily ever after gift wrapped under the Christmas tree?
About Ashantay Peters
Ashantay Peters loves escaping into a well-written book. Her reading addiction also has her perusing magazines, newspapers, Internet articles and even food labels. The last is often feebly excused as an attempt to maintain health, but her friends know the truth.
She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina, a happy transplant from the much colder (and flatter) midwest. She loves to hear from readers! Give her a holler via this website and she’ll get back with you as soon as she comes in from gardening or takes a break from writing her next book, Death Rub.