Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Add a Little Humor

   I have always enjoyed reading stories with a little humor mixed in. Too much drama and eventually I feel mired in the emotion and the story becomes depressing. Too much tension and I feel I can never take a breath or I might miss something.
   Injecting humor, especially after an emotional or intense scene, gives the reader a chance to catch their breath and lift their mood before continuing on to the next scene.
  Humor also adds dimension to your characters, who without it, become boring and predictable. A protagonist who can poke a little fun at himself or others, becomes a character I can identify with. The antagonist who can crack a joke in the middle of his evil plans, is more interesting.
   In this week's scene from my FanFic, Perrin and Faile are winding down from a fierce argument when Perrin invites his friend Gaul into the tent.
   Thanks for reading, and as always, this just reflects my opinions on writing.

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   With a deep sigh, Perrin put his arms around her and held her tight. In a quiet voice he began to share his painful thoughts.

   “From the moment Rand, Mat and I left the Two Rivers, the Shadow has been trying to kill us or break us. The Pattern has been using that to shape us and make us stronger. I can barely face the pain of losing my entire family, many of my friends and the terror I felt both times I thought I might lose you. I know you don’t like Mat because you think he is disrespectful and a scoundrel, but remember I can smell emotions. What I sensed from Mat was stronger and more confusing than anything I’ve ever sensed before. Not only was the pain of loss so powerful, but it felt ancient, which doesn’t make any sense. It was as if there were a hundred different men in front of me, all feeling the same intense sorrow. I think his flippant attitude is his way of dealing with so much pain.”

   “Never forget, Faile,” he continued. “Mat and I have an important role to play, but only Rand has the power and the knowledge to face the Dark One. If the Pattern has been using pain and sorrow to mold Mat and I into what is needed for the Last Battle, I do not want to even try and imagine what Rand has been subjected to.”

   A change in Faile’s scent made him look down into her dark eyes. The love and compassion he saw there was at complete odds with the anger and fear that was rolling off of her in waves. How do women manage to do that? Her scent was so prickly he wanted to touch his nose to make sure there was no blood.

   “Light woman,” he growled. “Did you think this was a contest between the three of us to see who would become the most powerful? Mat and I are here to support Rand in any way possible. I will do whatever is necessary to help Rand in the upcoming battle. If that means sacrificing my life or the lives of those with me, then so be it.”

   Taking a step back while still gripping his arms as hard as she could, the fire flared back up in her eyes as she gazed up at him. “So be it, Husband,” she said quietly. “You do whatever it is you feel you have to do and I will do whatever I have to do to make sure you live through it.”

   As the fire in her eyes changed to that which made Perrin’s blood warm, she purred, “How else are we to present grandchildren to my mother? How many did she say she wanted? Six, wasn’t it. You certainly don’t want to disappoint my mother now do you?”

   Perrin had to turn away to hide the smile that formed on his face. If he didn’t put a stop to this pretty soon, Faile would start talking about feeling as forward as a girl at harvest time and they would never get out of the tent in time.

   “You can come in now, Gaul. It’s as safe in here now as it will ever be.”

   As Gaul parted the flaps and entered the tent, a sniff from Faile told Perrin, without looking, that she knew what he had been thinking and wasn’t amused.

   “May you always find water and shade, Perrin Aybara.”

   “May you always find water and shade, Gaul. Is everyone ready?”

   “All are gathered and waiting outside, even the Wise Ones,” Gaul answered.

   Something in the way Gaul spoke of the Wise Ones made Perrin pause and look at his friend.


   “As you know, Perrin Aybara, the Aiel as a people consider themselves to all be equal. With the exception of the Clan Chiefs, Roof Mistresses, and Wise Ones, all Aiel treat each other with the respect and honor they expect from others. The Wetlander concept of Kings, Queens, or Lords and Ladies who feel they are entitled to respect only because of who their parents are, makes no sense. However, there is one among all the Aiel who is given more respect than any other. It is whispered that when Sorilea, Wise One of Shande Hold, walks the Three Fold Land, even the fierce Sand Lions bow their heads and leave her unmolested. My father once told me that as a small boy, he remembers Sorilea coming to meet with the Wise Ones of his Hold and she looked the same then as she does now. A wise man would do well to walk softly and treat that one with all the respect he possesses.”

   Pausing to see if his words had any effect on Perrin, he continued. “She is waiting outside to meet you.”

   Perrin shrugged his shoulders. “I will treat her with as much respect as I’ve given the other Wise Ones.”

   “That’s what I’m afraid of,” Gaul muttered.

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