Author Topic: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?  (Read 421 times)  

Offline Corvid

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Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
« on: September 14, 2020, 11:05:14 am »
Have you ever been writing your novel, and stopped because you'd realized the seriousness of the story is bringing you down? To the point where you level with yourself, and realize you can't write something like that over the long haul of a career?

But then, when you switched to something lighter, did you ever stop... believing what you're writing is too silly to be taken seriously as something anyone should spend their money on or their time reading? To the point where you tell yourself writing something silly is frivolous and not something upon which a career is built?

If yes to the above, how the heck did you solve the issue so you could get back to writing and trying to build a career as an author?

Asking for a friend... hehe...


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    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 11:42:38 am »
    Nope. Maybe. Dunno. Can't brain, tired from work.

    My Helsing books get sillier and sillier in places, and I start to think maybe TOO silly at times, but then when the reviews come in I start to find that people seem to like the sillier parts even more.

    So just do you, if you enjoy writing silly and want to go balls-deep with it, as it were, then do it. You'll always find some people who have the same sense of humour as you.

    Online NikOK

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 12:12:18 pm »
    Embrace the silly!  Ha, but to be real, it's a fine line to walk.  I find that if your book has a silly tone then you can really whammy people when things get serious.  Generally I shoot for 2-3 chapters of silly or at least lighter stuff and then back to the more serious moments.  That way it keeps a pace of, aww this is nice, uggh the characters are screwed, well they kept going after that, aww this is nice.

    But it all depends on character.  I feel like it's harder to write a silly toned book if you main character is the one savior of mankind.  But if they are more of a normal person in an extraordinary situation, then silly away.

    Heh, who knows?  Just my two cents.  I do feel like most best sellers are more serious tone, but also, things change, so maybe it will be all silly all the time someday.  Maybe it's something where you just have to look at your work and be honest.  Like, is this interesting?  Is it more interesting if I do it more silly or more serious?  If the story can hold your interest when you are doing an edit then I feel like it might be doing just fine.

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 04:46:27 pm »
    Focus on the story. Write it the way it needs to be done. Everyone has doubts, everyone has moments when they wonder why they're even trying. Force yourself beyond that. To be successful, you have to learn to ignore the things what will stop you from writing.

    Offline Corvid

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 05:21:56 pm »
    Nope. Maybe. Dunno. Can't brain, tired from work.

    My Helsing books get sillier and sillier in places, and I start to think maybe TOO silly at times, but then when the reviews come in I start to find that people seem to like the sillier parts even more.

    So just do you, if you enjoy writing silly and want to go balls-deep with it, as it were, then do it. You'll always find some people who have the same sense of humour as you.

    I lose sight of that last point quite often. No one's so unique they couldn't find others who might share a similar sense of humor, you're right. Good to keep in mind. Thanks.

    Embrace the silly!  Ha, but to be real, it's a fine line to walk.  I find that if your book has a silly tone then you can really whammy people when things get serious.  Generally I shoot for 2-3 chapters of silly or at least lighter stuff and then back to the more serious moments.  That way it keeps a pace of, aww this is nice, uggh the characters are screwed, well they kept going after that, aww this is nice.

    But it all depends on character.  I feel like it's harder to write a silly toned book if you main character is the one savior of mankind.  But if they are more of a normal person in an extraordinary situation, then silly away.

    Heh, who knows?  Just my two cents.  I do feel like most best sellers are more serious tone, but also, things change, so maybe it will be all silly all the time someday.  Maybe it's something where you just have to look at your work and be honest.  Like, is this interesting?  Is it more interesting if I do it more silly or more serious?  If the story can hold your interest when you are doing an edit then I feel like it might be doing just fine.

    Great points. I quite enjoy the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' films, and find they walk that fine line you mention quite well. I aim for that, knowing James Gunn made it look a lot easier than it is to pull off. It's true a lot of bestsellers, well... most bestsellers are more serious in tone, but as Garth points out above, it's likely there's a readership out there with similar tastes. A large enough readership upon which one can build a career? Remains to be seen, I suppose... but... probably? Thanks for the reply.

    Focus on the story. Write it the way it needs to be done. Everyone has doubts, everyone has moments when they wonder why they're even trying. Force yourself beyond that. To be successful, you have to learn to ignore the things what will stop you from writing.

    Yes, good advice, thanks. It's true, I'm easily distracted. I envy those who can put their noses to the grindstone, and keep it there. They tend to be the most successful. Force of will, yes?


    Online NikOK

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 11:18:26 am »
    It's true a lot of bestsellers, well... most bestsellers are more serious in tone, but as Garth points out above, it's likely there's a readership out there with similar tastes. A large enough readership upon which one can build a career? Remains to be seen, I suppose... but... probably? Thanks for the reply.


    There also could be a case for doing something that's not like the best seller list.  Like, if your book is exactly like the books on the best seller list then you are competing for readers with them 100%, but if your book is completely different, then you are just competing with them still a lot of the time, but not all the time.  I don't know, I was just thinking about if you self published a book that looked just like the best seller list but didn't have any of their marketing budget, how would it actually do?  I feel like readers might just go with what's already popular unless you give them a reason not to.

    Also, anything I say should be totally taken with a grain of salt.  I'm not exactly Steven King over here.  Just a guy who likes writing and sometimes has ideas about stuff  :D

    Offline Corvid

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 12:02:38 pm »
    There also could be a case for doing something that's not like the best seller list.  Like, if your book is exactly like the books on the best seller list then you are competing for readers with them 100%, but if your book is completely different, then you are just competing with them still a lot of the time, but not all the time.  I don't know, I was just thinking about if you self published a book that looked just like the best seller list but didn't have any of their marketing budget, how would it actually do?  I feel like readers might just go with what's already popular unless you give them a reason not to.

    Also, anything I say should be totally taken with a grain of salt.  I'm not exactly Steven King over here.  Just a guy who likes writing and sometimes has ideas about stuff  :D

    Good food for thought here. I think you're right. I don't imagine it'd go too well putting out something akin to the bestsellers, but without any of their marketing heft. Different can sell too, and might sell better with a decent enough - if not world-beating - marketing push. Really comes down to the quality of the story, which I tend to overthink. Then again, that's probably something all writers do... to varying degrees. I overthink to the point of non-production. I'd love to break that impulse down to the point where the words get flying again.


    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: Why so serious? Wait... Why so silly?
    « Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 01:42:51 pm »
    Have you ever been writing your novel, and stopped because you'd realized the seriousness of the story is bringing you down? To the point where you level with yourself, and realize you can't write something like that over the long haul of a career?


    What you may find is that what you are writing is not meant for anyone's eyes but your own.  But you wont see that until its done and think on the manuscript later. Then you will have the ah-ha moment. Make sense?

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