Comedy is an interesting genre. We laugh (apparently) when we perceive ‘a benign violation’ of the way the world ought to be (Daily Telegraph, August 2015, UK).

But writing comedy – that powerful antidote to pain – is not as easy as all that. It can’t be silly, or sentimental, for instance.

Characters have to be real and three dimensional And we need to care about – and believe in – the situations the writer has put them in. Comedy still keeps its tough grip on reality.

The writer is also likely to be deploying powerful visual imagery in the surreal situations that s/he describes. We need to ‘see’ what’s going on in contexts that go just beyond the likely.

My SUBGENRE is DARK COMEDY. This means that I am aiming for readers to be experiencing laughter, and tears, often at nearly the same time.


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