Monday, January 9, 2012

Comic Relief

Today I was talking to my sister at the gym when I noticed someone eavesdropping on our conversation. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this big, burly, macho-man leering behind us. I didn’t notice him before, so I figured he must have crept up to overhear us. I turned around to face him, thinking that maybe if he knew I was aware of him he’d give us some space.

However when I flipped around, I burst out laughing. The creepy, macho-man eavesdropper wasn’t even a man—it was a mannequin wearing workout clothes. I'd forgotten that the gym put out mannequins to display their workout attire.
I still jokingly said, “Hey, stop listening to our conversation!” I should have also said, “And think about getting a tan. Honestly, you’re whiter than a vampire wearing sunscreen.”

It’s always a relief when I’m in an intense situation and then it turns out to be humorous or comical. I feel like laughing relieves stress and tension and forces you to breath.

Comic relief is an important part of writing. You need to have a balance of seriousness and silliness. J.K. Rowling is the queen of this. Harry will be in the middle of a dire situation and as the reader, you're biting your nails, anxious for his survival. Then, somehow Rowling makes you bust up laughing because Fred, George, or Ron (redhead thing?) will lighten the mood with a snide, silly, or sarcastic comment. It gives you a moment to laugh, breath, and relax for a bit before continuing.

A few years ago I saw the creepiest. movie. ever. I do get scared really easy with movies, but screams were heard through the theater in random outbursts (so I wasn’t the only one). Halfway through the movie we saw a lady outside the theater who looked exhausted. “I just needed a breather,” she said. “That movie is intense!” I realized that what that movie lacked was in fact a “breather” moment. It needed comic relief so that by the end of the movie you didn’t feel mentally and physically drained.

I’m still working really hard on getting down the right amount of comic relief. And I’m trying my best to stay away from extreme scary movies, and burly, eavesdropping mannequins.

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