I really REALLY want to emphasize how glad I am to have had two people on the panel that I think were a little shocked at being there, yet I have gotten some of the MOST feedback about, because of how well they handled themselves, their thoughts, and the TYPE of funny they bring: crevette and lynnenne. Not everyone is a comedian, and not everyone writes fic. You two really represented something powerful to the majority of the attendees, and I thought you had excellent stage presence!
From stage left to right, as we sat (excluding me):
crevette is a humorous blogger, she's not much of a fic writer. But trust me, her blog is frickin' hilarious. We had an excerpt to her "Memos to [Her] Vagina" which can be found here and here. Good lord. Don't drink anything while reading. (Irene? I wish I hadn't been so frazzled, I would have loved to have spent more time with you - I know you had a lot of responsibilities, too. Thanks again!)
lynnenne writes ANGST. And the seriously good, dreamy, atmospheric angst. I liked that she knows how to underscore the dark with light. (It makes the dark so much more so.) We had an excerpt of her work here, with Harmony, Spike, and Scott Hope. Heh.
crazydiamondsue Yeah, yeah, you all know I'm going to talk about her, but it's because she's one of the funniest people on the planet earth! Each new fic she writes with the flat out funny is funnier than the last (even though she gives good angst. And she weaves humor into ALL of her fics, which makes them resonate more strongly.) Wheels-O-Rama is her latest, and was read out loud at the panel. A MUST READ.
thebratqueen is mostly known for her porn and meta, but she also understands that having humor with the dark makes them both stronger. She wrote an essay on humor a few years back and it's here.
mpoetess is a cracked out hilarious person, who also can do the dark, the porny, and put them all together. However, I read her very funny retread of The Cat in the Hat, with a Spander twist.
*cough* As it's my journal, and I love me some preening, I did mention the Wee!Spike series. Which has a musical, based on Grease. Don't even act like you don't want to read it. If only to nod and say to yourself, I knew there was something wrong with that girl. Or perhaps Annie: The Musical (Connie!) starring Connor as the little orphan is to your taste? It's not all dick jokes and singing (although it SHOULD BE. If there was a god, there WOULD BE SINGING AND DICK JOKES ALL DAY LONG. And chocolate. And tequila.) because I really really like writing Andrew and Jonathon. In Scotland. With Sean Connery. Or Andrew and Xander. (But I was very restrained and only mentioned my stuff in passing. There was no talk of Stoney fic for pretty much the whole con! *dies*)
Some points made about writing humor:
- humor in small doses can heighten the horror/angst woe - tension breaker, had to be done.
- the job of a comedy writer is to say taboo things: if you're not pissing SOMEONE off, you're not doing your job right
- work with stereotypes by pushing them beyond the barriers: Angel brooding and his face freezes that way, etc.
- Giles in a sombrero and serape is inherently funny. Because he's stiff and proper and... HAT!! The beats of silence after Buffy sees him dressed that way makes it funnier!
- "Silly" doesn't mean BADLY WRITTEN. (And I do NOT like the word silly, as it's dismissive! Don't be afraid to be funny!)
- If you know your characters, you know their type of humor. Buffy with her malapropisms, Xander with his sarcasm, etc.
- Not a single character on any Jossverse show didn't crack a joke. Even HOLTZ did!
- Take something mundane (your period) and push it to the absurd (memos to your body parts)
- You can fake sorrow or empathy, but you CAN NOT FAKE A LAUGH - and if you know your characters, you can make them funny!
- when all else fails, go to the source material. Surround yourself with funny people. Watch funny movies. If you can start laughing, the crazy will come!
And I really, REALLY would have loved to have had an hour more to talk about specific types of humor, but then it would have been the Laura show, and that's not the POINT, me.
Of a non-fannish/WC nature, I'm going to keep all talk of books and music on my VOX account - for purely selfish reasons and because I have organizational issues. *cough* My WC roommates were lovely for putting up with me cleaning all the time. I got a new Paste magazine, my sister sent me some music, and I'm reading a few REALLY good books, and I like the way VOX is set up for collecting thoughts on that stuff. (If anyone on VOX wants to add me to your neighborhood, yay! I've not been aggressive about adding people, as I don't want to presume you want me in BOTH spots.) Okay. Time to make creme fraiche.