I’ll be one of the first people to admit it — I love snarky children’s books. Those lines that are a bit cheeky that make the adult reader cringe? Yep. Those are the ones. Not sure what I mean? Think of any Kevin Henkes book with Lily in it. Yes, Lily often ends up in the uncooperative chair but she makes me laugh while she does it. I get why kids love these books.
So why does my own work have so few moments like this? The writers in my critique group have actually asked me this question. “You’re so funny. Why don’t you write funny?”
First things first, writing funny is really hard. I’m not sure why, but it is. It takes a great deal more effort than letting fly with a snarky one liner in conversation.
But I have to admit, that that isn’t the only reason.
More often than not, I’ll include something snarky, hilarious and, admittedly, immature. But then I hit backspace, backspace, backspace until its gone.
The reality is that I have the sense of humor of a teen boy. I know this because I laugh at 90% of the things that my son and his friends laugh at. In fact, I laugh so hard I snort. Then I turn around and one of the other moms or, worse yet, my husband is giving me that tight lipped look. You know the one. Grow up already.
But when I don’t edit away these bits of snark, my writing is that much better. It has voice. No, my work will never appeal to certain readers but that’s okay. They wouldn’t get the real me anyway. To read about my search to “write what I know,” see yesterday’s post at the Muffin.