I'm delighted to be joined today by one of the wittiest among Fantasy and Science Fiction writers! His books are captivating, entertaining and above all absolutely hilarious! I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing one of his recent books, Zaftan Entrepreneurs and trust me when I say, it was fantastic! But, hey, don't take my word for it! Find out for yourself!
Guys, please give a warm welcome to Hank, author of the Zaftan Trilogy...
A Guest Post byHank Quense
Humor and comedy in a written story come from two elements working together. One element is the character. He has to have a a quirk or bizarre way of looking at the world. This quirk should be one that normal people don't have i.e. the quirk has to be unusual. The second element is the plot. The purpose of the plot is get the character into difficult situations where the character's strangeness can take over to produce unexpected results. In my Zaftan Trilogy, the aliens have a nasty quirk; they think treachery and assassination are social skills and success in either one deserves a mention on their resumes.
Here is another way to look at it. (Do not panic! These are not a math equations! They're logical expressions.) Let A be an event in the story. B is a second event. A normal, non-humorous story will have a plot line such as this: A+B=C where C is the perfectly normal result of the two events happening. In a humorous story, this will change to A+Y=C where Y is a completely unexpected event caused by the character's strange outlook. Another humorous possibility is A+B=Z where Z is a bizarre result produced by the character's unusual way of interpreting events around him. Both of these situations, if done properly, will produce laughs. In my Tales From Gundarland, one story is about a dwarf vigilante who is determined to clean up his town and drive out the low-life elements. (that's A & B) After some success, the vigilante is stunned to learn the citizens LIKE having the low-lifers around because the low-lifers operate saloons and gambling halls. (that's a Z)After he realizes the citizens are on the verge of rioting, he backs off.
There is a lot more about writing humor and satire in my Build a Better Story. This is a book of writing advice aimed at the less experienced fiction writers.
The hard part about writing humor is getting Y and Z. Of course, in a story, the author needs a lot more stuff than a single Y and Z. In fact, the more unexpected events and bizarre results, the more humor the story has. A story with only a single Y and Z won't have many laughs in it.
When I'm not writing stories (or struggling to develop some Y's and Z's) I spend time working on Faux News Network reports. I'm the founder, CEO and reporter (under a dozen pseudonyms) for Faux News Network. Its mission is to provide an alternative opinion on modern issues. It's available from only two online sites: my blog which has other material as well and Squidoo which has only FNN reports. Depending upon the quality of the news, I may write two to four or five reports during a month.
Have a question on all this stuff? Send me an email and I'll try to answer it. Hanque99 (at) verizon (dot) net
Isn't that just one awesome post? I loved it! How about you, guys?
Both Hank and I would love to see your comments!
Hank, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here today! I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing your novel!
An alien mining ship from Zaftan 31B discovers Gundarland and orbits the planet. Initial scans show promising mining sites that could yield exotic minerals ladened with rare elements. The zaftan crew launch robotic explorers which do considerable damage to private property and enrage the native population. At the center of the explored territory, Drakin Gemseeker, a dwarf miner, and Leslie Higginbottom, the only constable in the area, are attracted to each other, but the alien incursion comes between them. The politicians in Dun Hythe, the capital, have worked a deal with a zatfan negotiator and the constable must protect the robotic explorers, much to Higginbottom's dismay. Meanwhile, MacDrakin's mining property is twice invaded by robots and he destroys both of them. The second one was armed and fired a weapon at him. MacDrakin declares war on the aliens and the robots and vows to destroy them all.
With Higginbottom ordered to protect the robots and MacDrakin hunting them down, their budding romance falters and seems doomed. On the space ship, the zaftan captain, Yunta, is furious at the loss of so many expensive robots. When an extensive mineral deposit is discovered underneath the town, Yunta sees an opportunity to avenge the loss of the explorers. She orders the mineral deposit mined without regard to the town or its inhabitants. She dispatches as many crew members as possible to protect the mining machines and remaining robots.
MacDrakin, in the meantime, has assembled a small army and intends to defend the town. If he can defeat the zaftans and drive them away, he hopes that will also clear the way for him to resume romancing Higginbottom.
Other books by Hank Quense