Friday, January 30, 2015

A Valliant effort and principles of comedy

CBC Books has an article describing how John Valliant wrote "The Jaguar's Children". Before writing it, he'd been working a book titled, The Tiger.  I guess he has a thing for cats.  Anyway, an excerpt:
PLACE AT THE DINING ROOM TABLE
Editing this book was very difficult for me, and I had the assistance of several editors working with it over a period of years. There were times when I had the story broken down into 150 scenes, each one described with a one-line capital phrase. They were thrown down in a heap on the dining room table and I just started pulling them out and asking each scene if it could justify its existence. If it could, it went into the keep pile. If it couldn't, it got set aside. Then, out of the keep pile, I asked which one of you comes first. There were some very obvious ones but there were also a number of scenes in the book that could have gone anywhere. That was an agony. 

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From Bill Hicks: Here are five of twelve principles
  • 1. If you can be yourself on stage nobody else can be you and you have the law of supply and demand covered.
  • 2. The act is something you fall back on if you can’t think of anything else to say.
  • 3. Only do what you think is funny, never just what you think they will like, even though it’s not that funny to you.
  • 4. Never ask them is this funny – you tell them this is funny.
  • 5. You are not married to any of this shit – if something happens, taking you off on a tangent, NEVER go back and finish a bit, just move on.


jkl;lkj

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