By accident I found a couple of light-hearted comedies at work among the heavy-hearted tragic contemporary novels and the light-minded airport thrillers and romantic fictions.

The universal problem with these light-hearted comedies is that they read as if the writer was in a hurry to get all their information down and finish writing. This is the same problem I find with internet fiction — they’re so fixated on the destination that they forget that the journey is part of the experience as well. It comes across as very ADHD.

Why does comedy get so little respect that even people who are writing it can’t be bothered to take it seriously? Not every line has to be a joke. People who are reading comedy won’t stop reading if there are a few descriptive phrases here and give the fictional universe some substance. And the descriptive phrases don’t have to be comedic. They can be poetic. It gives the comedy something to work against.

I think they’re just taking the easy path, which is a tragic thing about writers. Writers need to go off the beaten path, take risks and do more work than they need to. Oscar Wilde may have said “life is too important to be taken seriously”, but part of that quotation is still “life is too important”.

Advertisements