Since my blog still isn’t working, I’m offering this as a blog post. It’s not that long:
I read a quote today from Eudora Welty: “To write honestly and with all our powers is the least we can do, and the most.”
That mentality is often applied to “serious” writing. To romance and comedy, not so much.
At the very least, the broadest comedy makes you laugh. Not a bad thing. Likewise, romance offers escape. Also something we need as human beings.
But while “serious” can hammer you over the head with its “importance,” comedy and romance can sneak up on you. You find yourself thinking about “serious” things without realizing why.
For example, my good friend Donna McDonald has tackled the issue of the romantic and sex lives of older people in books that contain a lot of humor. Turns out that men in their 50s and 60s can suffer physically and mentally from the effects of loneliness.
Suddenly not so funny any more.
In my funny romantic books, I tend to address issues such as the way we all struggle as adults to develop beliefs and standards that conflict with those of the people–and the society–that raised us. Sounds like grist for some very serious non-fiction. But I don’t write that.
Can spoofy novellas about an incompetent witch have any depth at all? Well, Prudenzia struggles each day with the expectations foisted upon her because she was born into a very long line of witches who possessed power and competence that elude her. Oh, she has gifts–but compared to the gifts exhibited by those around her, they seem trivial. And yet, in the end, she triumphs not because she figures out how to make the powers of others work for her, but by discovering her own special abilities and applying them.
Hand over the fucking Pulitzer, please.
Importance, beauty, wisdom, food for thought–it’s almost impossible NOT to find these and other very “serious” elements in any genre of fiction.
At least, not if you believe that what Eudora Welty said is true.