Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Time Out For a Little Humor

From our guest humorist, Tracy Farr:


Writing Tips: What to Write About

What do you mean, you can't find something to write about? Aren't you looking hard enough? Aren't you paying attention? Hold on, maybe you're looking TOO hard. Maybe it's right under your nose and you can't even see it.

"You mean I should write about my mustache?"

Why not? It's there isn't it? So write about it. By the way, it needs a bit of a trim, and I think you have some spaghetti sauce stuck in it.

Ideas are everywhere. You see that UPS driver? The one who just delivered that package to your next door neighbor's house? Looks mighty suspicious to me. Looks like he's casing the joint. Looks like he's not even the regular delivery guy, but an escaped convict who highjacked the truck and is looking for easy access to a house. He'll end up terrorizing the lonely widow who lives there, who doesn't turn him in because he looks like her long-dead husband, Charlie, which really freaks out the UPS imposter-guy, who then decides to make a break for it, head to Wyoming, and start a whole new life as a sheep herder.

Terrible idea. Forget I even mentioned it.

Story ideas are everywhere. Right now, one of my cats is sitting on the arm of the couch, looking right at the TV remote control. Possible idea for a story? Maybe.

Right now, snow is melting in my backyard, messing up my septic system, making both toilets almost impossible to flush. Possible idea for a story? Why not!

Right now, my youngest son is at the local book store, waiting for his girlfriend. He drove two hours to see her. She's eating out with her parents. He wasn't invited. Possible idea? I don't know. That one may be a bit delicate.

What I'm getting at is this: Story ideas are all around you. You just have to be watching for them, waiting for them, ready to pounce on them at a moment's notice. And sometimes, when you've found your idea, and you're right in mid pounce, writing it all down, a Brand Spanking NEW Idea will pop inside your brain, and Holy Cow -- two ideas for the price of one!

See how easy it is?

Now, go find something to write about. And don't come back until you do!

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Posted by Maryann Miller with Tracy's permission. He likes to share his humor here with a few more people than read his blog, which by the way is pretty darn funny. Trust me. He isn't paying me a penny to say that.

Maryann's Web site - where you can find information about her books and editing services

Tracy's Blog

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12 comments :

  1. A good exercise. I would like to add a cliche; think outside the box. Maybe we should think inside the box, then how would we get out. Oh no, I'm stuck.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  2. We writers often DO look too hard for inspiration when it exists all around us. Opening our eyes to our surroundings may enable us to turn what many consider ordinary into the extraordinary. Thank you, Maryann for sharing Tracy's "Writing Tips."

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  3. Hey, I like the one about the mustache and the UPS driver. Can I borrow them? LOL. Funny and inspirational!
    Christa

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  4. Glad you all are enjoying Tracy's post. It is interesting how so many truths can be couched in humor.

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  5. I like his "voice." He's quite funny, but gets his message across.

    Helen

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  6. People-watching is great for gathering ideas, and Tracy's suggestion to look right under your nose is right on. My favorite thing is to find a place to relax where there are people (festival, farmer's market, fair) and let my imagination roam through the crowd. Lots of fun.

    Patricia

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  7. Hi Maryann,

    Humour, at its inherent core, is offensive, because it IS truth. Comedy cannot exist apart from truth. That's why so many can relate to it, because of the truth it contains. It's one of the first things they teach you in writing stand-up. I've been a professional stand-up for over 15 years, and I used to have a quote from some famous Canadian over my desk that said, "If you're going to tell someone the truth, make them laugh or they'll kill you."

    I've always found it to be true.

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  8. Der, missed the little box for follow-ups, so posting again.

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  9. You two characters are going to end up in a story some day! LOL.

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  10. Dani, you mean me and Tracy or Tracy and Carla? LOL

    Love the quote you posted about humor and truth Carla. So true.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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