Monday, March 7, 2011

Jazz Up Your Writing

I'm not known as a wild and crazy fashionista. Classic outfits that remain in style for years are more to my taste.

Every now and then, I break out of the mold. How? Socks. It all started when I won two pairs of flashy footwear in a blog contest. I was hooked.

This alter ego thrives in the summer. I'll pair a tame shirt and pants with patterned socks. The first time I did this, the Women's Ministries' participants went into a fit of giggles. I may not look like I stepped off the pages of a magazine, but I made people laugh.

My wardrobe includes Christmas socks, heart socks, striped socks, and...drum roll please...cow socks! It's a modest, but effective assortment. I don't make wearing them a habit, but when I do, they have the desired effect.

All this frivolity made me think. Why not use the principle of the unexpected in my writing? A dash of humor in an otherwise serious piece lightens it and gives the reader a breather.

A word of caution here: not all publications are open to the chuckle factor. Get sample copies to discern whether or not they have a funny bone.

What are some ways you jazz up your writing?

26 comments:

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm working a scene like that into my WIP now...bringing the funny.

Lately I keep contemplating getting a second ear piercing. What's with that?
~ Wendy

Sandra Heska King said...

I love socks. And Wendy. I've already done the second piercing. Which is hysterical because I came close to passing out with the first--when I was 30. I've actually thought about a third. Or maybe a little tasteful tattoo. That would really freak my kids out.

One summer my sister and niece and I got those spray-on tattoos, and I sent photos to my daughter--including one of me outside a real tattoo shop looking really scared. That was fun!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I love that you love fun socks! I have a few pairs of colorful ones but I find I don't wear them often--don't know why. I think it's because they're not as comfortable.

I try to add fun into my stories for light moments, especially because my stories are supposed to be on the light side in the first place. Now I need to work on adding that light side to my own life :) (I DO have a second ear piercing :D)

Katie Ganshert said...

Great reminder to throw in some unexpected! Thanks Susan!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy -

LOL! Maybe we're going through our second childhood.

I'm not brave enough to go for a second ear piercing. I was 27 before I could get up the courage to get my ears pierced.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

You are too funny. What a practical joker!

No tattoos for me. That's way too wild and crazy for this girl.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

A little goes a long way with these touches - both in socks and in our writing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Katie -

The socks make me smile, and a bit of humor in my writing takes the edge off a serious piece.

Blessings,
Susan :)

DenaNetherton said...

I love the unexpected. If I'm trying to develop a nasty character, I try to give him/her some surprising quirk, such as a desire to become an expert at cooking or knitting or fashion (for the guys) or an evil woman who loves to volunteer her time to the Special Olympics. Or a GQ handsome guy who's so shy he falls all over himself when he talks to a pretty woman. Kojak's lollypop comes to mind here.

Shopgirl said...

This post made me giggle and smile, I hope that was the desired effect. Oh, and it made me think, which often isn't good, but this time it was.

newbie writer

Gina said...

I love to use dialogue, especially with a sarcastic character, to liven the scene!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Dena -

Great ideas! I remember a villain, who loved small dogs.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shopgirl -

Welcome to my blog! I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'm glad the post made you smile and think.

You said you're a "newbie writer." There are many excellent blogs on my blogroll that can help you learn.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Gina -

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Oh, your character sounds like fun! It reminds me of the Rosie O'Donnell character in Sleepless in Seattle.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Maria I. Morgan said...

I'd love to see the cow socks! What a fun way to liven up an outfit! I love adding a dash of suspense to my devotionals to keep the reader guessing. Humor is a great option too. Have a blessed week!

Karen Lange said...

What, you're not a fashionista? Hmm. I'm slightly disappointed, for I was hoping you'd help me with a new spring wardrobe...:P

Great point! Why not make things interesting when you have the right fit.

Blessings,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

I never thought of using suspense in my devotionals. Great idea!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Sorry, I'm learning what colors are good on me (soft autumn according to Crystal Laine Miller). You might want to read her posts on the subject. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh yes! Life goes better with color & laughter. It certainly requires discernment, but a well placed splash of vibrant, or a well timed chuckle makes the medicine go down.

Good stuff!
Kathleen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

LOL! I always liked that song. A little sugar added in the right places helps us digest truth. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Rhonda Schrock said...

I LOVE putting the unexpected "chuckle factor" into a piece. Love this!

Faith Imagined said...

Now every time I see funky socks, I'm going to think of you!

I just wrote a devotional, actually, that I tried to put a dash of humor in. It's interesting that I have a very serious writer's voice, yet in real life I'm crazy and light hearted.

Jean Fischer said...

I love the socks!

I'm working on a nonfiction book with a "heavy" theme. I like to use well-placed anecdotes to lighten things up a bit.

Blessings,
Jean

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

So do I, but it's a little harder for me to pull it off. You're a natural. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

LOL! It's one of those silly things few people know about me.

We all have a unique writing voice. The subjects you tackle are usually serious, and you do a great job.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Anecdotes are a great way to lighten a serious piece.

When Beloved was going through chemo, I tried to put a bit of humor into his hospital esccapades. It wasn't difficult since he was quite a character. :)

Blessings,
Susan