I say, I say...

Working on my pantomime yesterday, I suddenly realised how much 'dad' humour I was using. Let me explain 'dad' humour. It's the kind of jokes that you get in crackers or that fathers use to amuse their children. Well, they think they're amusing their children but usually the involved younglings are more embarrassed than amused, with cries of 'Oh Dad'. I suppose it's on par with dad dancing. With the pantomime, I find myself chortling at the humour I'm writing (especially as I can imagine the audience reaction) but also thinking 'oh no, how embarrassing'.

When I return to my writing, I tend to read through the previous chapter or scene to get into the energy of that particular piece. For me, different kinds of writing (novel, play, blog article etc) tend to have their own rhythms and energy levels. For example, the pantomime is a very upbeat energy which has to be maintained throughout with the occasional lull for a sad bit or love song, or peak for a chase scene.

Actors are often called chameleons. My own favourite chameleon was always Alec Guinness in films like Kind Hearts and Coronets and Murder by Death. Writers, on the other hand, tend to be linked to having one distinct voice. There are exceptions who successfully crossover to two or more genres or writing forms, but in general we're told to develop our writing style. This is excellent advice but should never be to the exception of trying out a different vehicle (play, prose, poetry) or genre. It won't always be a success. Poetry just isn't my cup of tea. I have tried and failed. However, I love to write plays and I'm lucky enough to be able to earn a living from doing so, but I also enjoy writing prose.

Developing a voice is a necessity for a writer but also look at the different ways in which you can apply that voice, be it poetry, blog writing or trying your hand at a novel. Your writing can only benefit.


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