I thought Kathy Lette was seen as chicklit - but yes, she is very funny. And I would have thought she should be called a comic novelist - maybe people can be both - or maybe the authors choose for marketing purposes i don't know. What I like about Lette is it is sharper and meaner than most of the chicklit I've looked at. But maybe chicklit is so huge now it encompasses all sorts.
I don't like Kathy Lette. I think there are WW members who are wittier.
Nothing wrong with romcom at all ... I love some romcom movies, especially the older screwball type like His Girl Friday
and The Philadelphia Story
. I just put chicklit novels (a term I'm coming to realise I really don't like) in a similar bracket, because they seem to me to be covering similar ground.
Haven't read Ukrainian Tractors
. It looks great, though, from the pages I've flicked through, and I have a copy on the bookshelf. (Surely the bookshelves of all writers are groaning with unread volumes ? It can't just be me ?)
Anyway Snowbell, you should definitely go and write a comic novel because there aren't enough of them around.
There's a great interview with the sainted Wodehouse here
by the way which has some superb advice about writing comic novels.
Emma, we're going to have to agree to disagree about the comic qualities of Kathy Lette. Ever since first encountering her when I lived in Australia (where she was feted as a literary heroine, an appalling situation in the country that gave us Clive James and Barry Humphries), I have been astounded at exactly how she manages to get away with writing such absolutely moronic drivel time after time, and just put it down to a calculated contempt for her readers.
Anyway, just to stir things up a bit:
| Who says women can't be funny ? Two of the funniest comedians I've ever seen are Lily Savage and Dame Edna Everage. (Ricky Gervais)|
|Although this sounds ridiculous to us, I wonder if it stemmed from the fact that some generations back people didn't have such good light sources, and thus would actually damage their eyes by reading a great deal.|
See, an ophthalmologist friend of mine says this whole thing is a myth, and reading in bad lighting doesn't damage one's eyesight at all; it just tires one's eyes a bit. But I've never verified this so I keep wondering whether A. this is true, or B. this person is not a very good ophthalmologist.
Griff and Snowbell: you should really give The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic
by Sophia Kinsella a try (if Griff's masculine self-esteem can cope with the pink cover, that is). I mean it. I avoided it for a long time because 'sex and shopping' doesn't interest me at all, but I'm glad my friend convinced me to read the book because it's very, very funny indeed. In fact, I can't see it as anything but a 'comic novel' -- when I think of 'chick lit', the romantic element is an essential part of the genre, but in this book the romance is more of an afterthought. It's all about the comedy.<Added>
As for female comic novelists, Stella Gibbons, Nancy Mitford, and Sue Townsend surely qualify...?
You see, you put your finger on my problem - I can't stand shopping, shoes and all things girlie. I am the opposite of Sapphy in fact.
|See, an ophthalmologist friend of mine says this whole thing is a myth, and reading in bad lighting doesn't damage one's eyesight at all; it just tires one's eyes a bit. But I've never verified this so I keep wondering whether A. this is true, or B. this person is not a very good ophthalmologist.|
Yes, I've been told this too by opticians in relation to working with computers. Although I've spent my entire working life squinting at monitor screens in the dark, I still have (fortunately) excellent eyesight and can read bus numbers from several counties away. And I don't eat abnormal amounts of carrots.
My understanding is that when your eyes are gonna go, they're gonna go: it's genetic, and no amount of squinting at websites is going to change that. Apparently they are extremely resilient and recover very quickly from long periods of misuse.
|Griff and Snowbell: you should really give The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophia Kinsella a try (if Griff's masculine self-esteem can cope with the pink cover, that is). I mean it.|
I've just checked the cover out on Amazon, and quite frankly the only thing that would be more embarrassing to be seen reading on the train is a copy of Paedophile Monthly
|As for female comic novelists, Stella Gibbons, Nancy Mitford, and Sue Townsend surely qualify...?|
Oh yes, brilliant choices! I'd forgotten all of those.
Talking of squinting at computers, I've just taken up the suggestion Emma mentioned a while ago about rotating my screen through 90 degrees (and adjusting the display settings in the software) to read everything in portrait rather than landscape.
But I can't seem to find a display resolution that is comfortable to read. Emma, what resolution do you use ?
(and what kind of monitor do you have).
|quite frankly the only thing that would be more embarrassing to be seen reading on the train is a copy of Paedophile Monthly.|
So is that a case of good marketing? Does really good marketing work by excluding sections of people too? Would it sell as much if the marketing was a little more all-inclusive?
Dunno, but on both of the comedy courses I've been on, when they talk about identifying your market, the suggestion is that you need to be just as clear about who your comedy isn't aimed at as who it is.
Really? How does that help?
Well, for example, you have to decide "I don't care if thick people or clever people or young people or old people or right-wing people or left-wing people or whoever don't get what I do, because my audience is such-and-such people".
I go to a comedy writing class every Monday at the moment, which has a wide range of people there. When we are discussing comedy, or doing exercises, I just know there are a load of obvious or old jokes I could throw out which would get a huge laugh. People come up with stories like "they think they've killed someone's pet and then buy a replacement but it turns out the original one is still alive who would have guessed yawn zzzz" and they slap each other on the back with hilarity. And I think, you know, I could make everyone in this room laugh with really obvious jokes for the whole duration of the class. But where's the fun in that ? So I've decided that I don't want to write lazy, predictable stuff, and that if a room full of people who think The Vicar of Dibley is hilarious don't get it, that's fine, as long as (hopefully) some people out there get what I'm trying to do.
Griff, I've got a 19" ViewSonic, running Pivot Pro at native resolution (can't remember what it is - 1024 x whatever, I think). It is a very good screen - not a single dead pixel, and I bought the children a Dell desktop PC with the own-brand screen it came with, which looks really horrid by comparison.
Bah, Pivot Pro doesn't work with Mac. (Ssssh. You didn't hear that from me.)
I'm using a pivoting option that comes free with the Mac OS, and it's OK, but maybe I need to look around for a commercial application that will do the job better.
Did someone say something about something a Mac wouldn't do? No? Must have been imagining things. We all know there's nothing
they can't do better than a PC, don't we?
Well to be fair about this, at least Macs provide a pivoting option with the base operating system. As far as I know, crappy old Windows does no such thing, you have to pay to buy one.
It just appears that the commercial solution you pay for might be better than the free one you get with your Mac.
This 182 message thread spans 13 pages: < < 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 > >
Ooooh! I had meant to post a post on the other thread thanking Griff and the other boys for their very useful and functional suggestions about my pv versus mac issues. I'm sorry I then turned the thread into Gadget Candy. BUt aesthetics are very important to me. I try and pretend not to be that shallow, but it's true, I'm afraid.
However, I have snogged some pig-uply men in my time.
pc, not pv.