I like quirky things. Quirky books, quirky songs, quirky rings, quirky people, the word quirky. I was into Star Trek way before it was cool to be a nerd (just ask my college roommates). I spent a lot of time rewatching the Labyrinth, The Goonies and The Little Mermaid in high school. I was a super nerd hiding in a cheerleader skirt. Now, I’m a flag-flying unabashed nerd, complete with my own magic wand (14 inches, almond wood, phoenix core). So, dear reader, when I’m reading, I appreciate the silly, the geeky and the absurd.
While reading Let it Snow, a collection of three novellas written by three different authors (Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle), about the intertwined paths of three teens during a Christmas Eve blizzard, I was delighted to find plenty of quirk.
Character names like Jubilee and The Duke, a Flobie Santa Village, a car named Carla, and chapter titles like "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" and "The Patron Saint of Pigs," are just the beginning. Instead of seeming like the authors tried too hard, the silliness worked because it felt true. Real-life teens make up silly nicknames for one another and say odd things in an effort to be different. I did them when I was a teen. Hell, I still do them. But using quirky names gives an air of authenticity to the story.
For adult novels, silly humor adds much needed levity. Adults books can take themselves too seriously. Too much is at stake or everything has to be elegant and deep. But sometimes, we just want to read about Flobie Santa Village pieces because the name makes us giggle. Laughter makes us live longer.
I had someone give me excellent feedback regarding humor -- just go for it, don’t hold back. Don’t worry about seeming absurd or over the top, instead let it out. As readers, we crave the over the top insanity, as long as it’s someone else’s life. That’s one reason we read.
So this lovely romp of YA rom-com reminds me to be silly, make people laugh, let my inner nerd out to play while I write. So, dear reader, we can all have more fun in the end.
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