Apparently this month I elected to write a book in the key of ‘humour’. I’m not really sure what possessed me to pick that – genres were allocated back in December 2010, which was a different time altogether.
Remember December 2010? It was a whole different time, wasn’t it? Of course it was. Remember Snowpocalyse? Public transport drew to a standstill and there was ice on the inside of the windows of your flat and you had to wear a dressing gown over your other layers of clothes for fear of getting pneumonia? Although that might just have been in my house… Oh, and remember Matt Cardle off the X-Factor getting to number one with a fairly average Biffy Clyro cover? That was adequate, wasn’t it. And remember civil unrest kicking off in Tunisia? Heady days indeed, they ended up getting rid of their political leader. December 2010 eh, it was another world.
And in that world, I arbitrarily decided that in 9 months time I’d be in the mood to write something funny. You might think that my natural wit would see me through nae bother, but there are one or two problems occurring.
One is the definition of a humour book. If you go into a book shop, the humour section is dedicated to lolcats and joke books and assorted stocking fillers that nobody cares about. My other half suggested I could do lolhumanz, putting captions on silly pictures of people – perhaps narrated from the point of view of a cat – but whilst I think there is merit in that idea it didn’t quite grab me. Mainly because Vice have been doing it for years and are so good at it there is no point in me following suit. And I imagine there would be endless issues surrounding copyright and the like.
My current thinking is to write a book that is funny, amusing, or at least occasionally wry. Not a spoof, though – I tried my hand at parody for NaNoWriMo last year, and it spiralled out of control way too quickly. It started as Mills and Boon and ended in the realm of scifi-fantasy. Instead I think I might do something passingly autobiographical but heavily fictionalised, based around an amalgamation of my other blog, Confessions of a Jobless Graduate, and my current life, Continuing Adventures of a Temp.
The trouble with this is deciding on a narrative structure. I have tons of little stories and encounters that I’ve blogged about and could build on, but without a plot to hang them on it will just read like the meanderings of a blogger. Life, as someone – I’m pretty sure it was Janice Galloway – said at the book festival, doesn’t have a plot, but fiction kind of needs one.
I suppose it could hinge on a love story, or perhaps the main character could find herself like in that Julia Roberts film about leaving your husband and going to India to ponce about. Or maybe I could do Sex and the City with women in their early 20s who live in Scotland and have crap jobs… Normal people, essentially, doing things that normal young women do, like buying beautiful shoes so impractical that they can never be worn, drinking too much and giggling like cretins about youtube videos that aren’t even funny, or checking out potential love interests by stalking them on facebook for several months.
The more I think about this, the more I develop delusions of creating a funny, intelligent piece of chick lit – except I’ve never really read any chick lit so I’m not sure whether it’s been done already. If anyone has any specialist knowledge in this area, feel free to give me a heads up…