story first, comedy second
For over 10 years I've been using my most challenging emotional moments to fuel laughter in others. One of my most viewed jokes on YouTube is about struggling with the quality of a suicide note (as in "you can't kill yourself until you get this note right"). People commented on the video that I shouldn't make fun of depression -- as if the joke wasn't autobiographical.
I don't think I could ever be cruel enough to make fun of a suicidal person that wasn't myself. (A fun extra detail about the note is that I wrote it on a tiny shred of paper, because I felt I didn't deserve the whole sheet. I kept it to remind me where I came from.)
I guess I'm just venting. But why?
I'm currently writing a screenplay that is still in the outline phase. I'm using some very emotionally rich moments from my own life to fuel the story, which means levity doesn't exist yet -- it's all RAW. It's all so serious and there is nothing I can do about it. To respect story development, I can't shoehorn any punchlines yet.
Switching from "monologue" writing to "dialogue" writing isn't that hard. What IS hard is stopping before the punchline... on purpose.
Also: as promised in a previous blog, here's one of my favorite videos I watched this week.
Quentin Tarantino poking fun at violence.