Good, Clean Fun
We all love some good, clean fun from time to time, I want to hear YOUR take on humor and how to keep it both clean and funny! Join whenever!
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Poll
What is the best kind of poll to put in my bio?
1 A Question Regarding my Stories
2 A Funny Poll
3 A Survey to Actually See Percentages of Stuff (i.e. "Do you have any pets?")
4 A Matter-of-Openion Poll
5 A Poll about Polls
6 A Quiz-like Poll (w/ right & wrong answers)
View Poll Result. Please vote for one of the choices.
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I want to hear what in a humor story makes you stop laughing and get angry at the author/cry. I know for me I can't read stories with cusing or that say stuff like "OMG" or "Jesus Christ" because those things hurt me, idk. I guess I want to know how to avoid the things that people hate! Like, if people hate talking about ... rising gas prices or ... carnivous dancing potatoes then I won't talk about them! That's all.

PLEASE REPLY!

Pen.Dragon

4/24/2008 #1
R.E.D. the animator

I think It's when a story becomes preachy. Like, "We need to be kinder to the enviroment" or "If only there was more love in the world." That just ruins a story for me.

4/24/2008 #2
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I know what you mean! Like the last verse of "Mr. Roboto" (idk if anyone else has ever even heard of that song, but okay) it's an awesome song, but the last verse basically tells you to go live in a log cabin for the rest of your life! That TOTALLY messed up all the humor! But I still love the song.

4/24/2008 #3
Trisana Tennant

I heard it for the first time the other day.

4/28/2008 #4
asylum writer

Never heard the song... I completely agree with what R.E.D.'s saying. Preachy stories are annoying.

4/28/2008 #5
Mockingbyrd's Tune

Curse words or taking God's name for granted has me looking for the exit in a story on FP. It's tragic, because there are some great stories by writers who obviously have senses of humor which I could enjoy reading. The moment I read the offending word, though, I'm gone. No review. No kudos... or Snickers or Twix or, my favorite, Caramellos.

Sadly, that's the first nit I have to pick with the humor section of FP. I realize many don't think a thing of it; but has anyone noticed it is used as crutch to acclimate the reader in most writers' intros? It's like, "Let me throw out a few trashy, down-on-the-level, four-letter terms and - Voila! - we are talking like bad-mouthed buddies now." It's not impressive.

Oh, and is foul language acceptable in the summary and title on FP? I know the rules on FFN don't allow it, but over here if I forget the K-K+ filtering, it's overwhelming in the humor section.

5/28/2008 #6
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Oh, I feel for you! I can TOTALLY relate! That's why I have this forum and my C2. Because some ppl will curse even in the K section! I totally lose respect for people who think that the only window into the writing world they have involves dirty joke after dirty joke!

I can't find anything in the TOS about if foul language is acceptable here, but I don't think that it should be.

And here's another thing, why doesn't the profanity filter filter out acronyms or text speak that include curse words? They are still cursing, it's just implied. I understand that I don't understand computers, but still ... an effort should be made to keep our minds clean. After all people who curse only make themselves sound stupid and often use curse words in exchange for having a real vocabulary. When they can't think of a verb, they curse. When they can't think of an adjective, they curse. And when people like me tell them that cursing is stupid, they will probably curse. (But if you curse in my forum, I will just modify your words or delete you.)

What do you think, reply,

Pen.Dragon

5/28/2008 #7
Mockingbyrd's Tune

Is cursing generally viewed as being offensive? I don’t think it is, even though it is offensive to me. Imo, it is looked at as cool or just commonplace. You’re right that it is a lazy way out, though.

an effort should be made to keep our minds clean.

You are speaking in a moral sense, I think. Not everyone has the same morals or chooses to uphold them. When I find the rare writer who cares about making sure his/her pieces reflect the belief he/she upholds, which I also uphold, I am more open to reading everything that particular writer has posted, and predisposed to like it purely for moral integrity’s sake. I don’t think I’m alone in that sort of bias.

Dirty jokes in humorous stories are very irritating; especially when it involves double entendre like Shakespeare was so fond of using. Happily, many of Shakespeare’s cruder jokes are lost on today’s crowd, having relied so heavily on the language of the time. In some cultures, this type of double entendre is considered the wittiest sense of humor. (I think someone touched on this already in another topic, though. Forgive.)

M.T.

5/28/2008 #8
R.E.D. the animator

It's not just in stories either! People make movies that would probably be rated PG, but then they insert the F-bomb in order to bump the rating up to R.

Just something to consider.

RED

5/29/2008 #9
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Can you give an example? The only thing I can think of is how some translations of anime shows that I use to watch were easily PG and others were hard-core R (it's really hard to buy anime when it's like that).

Write on! (Always, even when your pen, computer, and both arms, are all broken.)

Pen.Dragon

5/29/2008 . Edited 5/30/2008 #10
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

And something else that I just wanted to say: I LIKE being naive. It means that my mind is clean at least of some of the world's garbage.

And that I think that it's really sad that sometimes the only way I can tell that something is dirty is that I don't understand it. An example of that would be some reviews that I got for my "Street Sign Comments" and two people suggested the exact same thing! But I didn't get the joke, so figured it was dirty for a while, and then I asked someone and they -didn't tell me what it meant, but they- told me that it was in fact a dirty remark. And that is just plain sad.

Looking for Cleaner Jokes,

Pen.Dragon

6/1/2008 #11
The Cat Died Nobly

But sometimes authors write from the point of view of people who, in everyday life, openly curse. I try not to use "Jesus Christ" or "God" often, but sometimes, I'll be so into a personality of a character that I'll write what they would say, whether that agrees to my moral standards or not.

So if I've got a particularly angry character, they're likely to swear. I don't see it as that big of a deal, as most kids I know swear all the time. However, this could be because I was born into a much more relaxed house; my parents swear around me now, and my brother was thirteen when I was born, which means he was just getting into cursing when I was learning to talk.

However, using swear words as a form of cheap humor definitely is a problem that should be dealt with. But regardless, walking around thinking that the world is pure and cursing doesn't exist is unrealistic. We all have to face reality sometime.

I'm just going to sum it up as this:

Fiction isn't about following your own opinions, it's about taking them out of what you're writing.

6/1/2008 #12
R.E.D. the animator

Sometimes though, it's a bad thing to be reallistic.

For example (pardon my nerdiness), the origional Star Wars trilogy was epic, fun, and action-y. The Prequel trilogy was more dark, political, and reallistic. Most people like the origional trilogy better even though it is a bit more cheesy and unrealistic.

Another example is Harry Potter. The first two books were fun and childish. These are the books that people fell in love with. Then the rest (and mostly the last three) were darker and more realistic, but they still got tons of readers though because people had already been hooked by the earlier books. Actualy, If you go back and read those last few book, you'll see that they're terrible!

Case in point, realisim shouldn't be the standard for stories.

If fiction were real, then it wouldn't be fiction!

6/1/2008 #13
Mockingbyrd's Tune

If fiction were real, then it wouldn't be fiction!

That's true... or maybe that's fiction. ;)

walking around thinking that the world is pure and cursing doesn't exist is unrealistic

I agree. Btw, who thinks the world is pure or cursing doesn’t exist?

Is it realistic to make an effort to keep profanity out of my life? Sure, else tv guardians, internet filters, and rating systems wouldn’t be the big part of peoples’ lives that they are. (Not to suggest that profanity is the only factor for having these great features.)

Unacceptable lines or ideas for stories have popped into my head that I thought were amazingly inspired, in my humble opinion (heh heh). I refused to use them, though, no matter how funny or witty I thought it would be. I make a daily, moment-by-moment choice to stick to my code of conduct. I’m not going rationalize by saying, “This is my author’s license.” That’s just a cop-out. Once the rule is “broken in effigy,” so to speak, reality follows close behind. If it wasn’t really important to keep that rule in a fictional circumstance, why would it be important to stick by it in a real life event?

Does that mean I don’t like bad guys (antagonists) in my stories? I lurve them! But, they are gonna toe the line and watch their language in my stories, and they are gonna get it in the end.

The best stories are the ones that are kid-friendly. Many are wholesome, imaginative, and delightful! They generally give something to their readers. They present ideas that a reader may not have considered. Can anyone think of an author of a classic child’s story who left his/her opinions out of his/her work? It’s an opinion that generally gets the idea for the plot flourishing in the mind in the first place, isn’t it?

I’m all out of words now; I think I used them all in this post. So, call me,

“M.T.” XD

6/1/2008 #14
Trisana Tennant

In my mind, why is foul language in a humor story to begin with? That would not be funny at all. To me it would make it more of a dramatic tale. When I think of stories where one has to express their feelings in such ways, i think of one where, i don't know, the main character was stabbed, by a giant monster with a trident.... i just came up with that randomly... then i could see a situation where that language is acceptable. Never in humor though.

6/2/2008 #15
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I disagree, because you can still make a story about life or death and make it kid friendly, I mean, HELLO, look at your average fairytale. But I'm not just talking about humor when it comes to cursing, I don't curse in my work. Period. And I've gotten tons of hits, tons of favs, and tons of reviews. I'm not bragging I'm just saying, it won't be missed. Even on my old account where I didn't write humor, I still didn't curse, and people still liked my stuff they didn't review and say, "you should've said ** there instead of a nicer word" (the stories weren't all that great so nobody was like addicted or awestruck). But, my point is, people won't notice if you stop cursing (people like M.T. and I will notice and be offended when you start, though) they'll just read your story. This isn't one of those points that's all about "you can't please everybody" like I've been told by multiple authors when I told them I couldn't read their story or I couldn't add it to my C2 because they cursed, you can please everyone! So even if you don't agree with me, if you want me, or those like me, to ever read your works and help you improve, why not?

6/2/2008 #16
The Cat Died Nobly

But there comes a point in an author's life when they must write something that isn't kid friendly, or at least to those who are seriously considering it as a career.

Normally, I try to write as kid friendly as I can--but when reviewers tell me they can't enjoy my story the way they would normally because of a curse word or two, it comes off as a bit patronizing. I get where you're coming from, but I'll say again: I'm not going to change the way I write; if a character wants to swear, I'll let them swear. If they're the type not to, I won't. I know that those who disagree with me have said that there are ways around such, but I try to write as realistically as possible. From different backgrounds springs different morals, especially involving vocabulary, and I'm one who likes to step outside my own comfort zone and write all types of people. [When I do swear, I keep it within inner thoughts or dialogue]

Summarizing, I see your points and agree in most cases. Swearing can be unnecessary and sometimes turns me off from a story. I also understand how some words can be very offensive, but telling me that limiting the way I write will help me improve is a bit offensive to me. If it's a grammatical critique, great. If it's a spelling mistake, perfect, I'll fix it. Even most character flaws I'll be happy to work on.

So yes, I could write to please everyone, but if I wasn't pleasing myself with what I wrote, I don't see much point in bothering at all. I don't write for others, I write for myself. And hey, if other people like it, that's great! I'm always so flattered and happy to learn my message got through to others. But if they don't, I'll live. And I'll rate the story 'T' for a reason.

Since this forum is technically about what spoils a story, for me it's when things are unrealistic. Like someone acting out of character or a plot twist so unexpected it was probably better left alone, etc--not talking about fantasy plots or sci-fi, just what would be a logical event in the plot line.

6/2/2008 #17
R.E.D. the animator

Good points. But I should point out that even though we don't like swearing, that doesn't mean you can't include it in your stories, or that if one of us had the ability that we'd force you to write clean. What it does mean is that we won't read your stories. You could write the most horrable, gut churning, violent, horror/slasher in the world, that your right, but we just won't read it.

6/3/2008 #18
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I agree with RED and I think that The Cat Died Nobly has probably gotten bored and/or sick of us telling her what we think is wrong, so let's move on, shall we?

I think I understand what you mean Cat, but can you give an example?

6/3/2008 #19
The Cat Died Nobly

I'm not sick or bored of it--we just have different opinions, ones that are likely to never change. A healthy debate is fun. :)

Anyway, sure, let me elaborate. Let's say you're in the middle of a story, when all of a sudden, your totally sweet and innocent character suddenly yells at someone, barely provoked. For a character to change their personality so drastically takes a huge reason--when I see that sweet person randomly let out pent anger, it really takes away from the story.

Or, just at any point in the story, a gigantic twist happens that was so unexpected, it was unnecessary. Like a side character dying and people suddenly going crazy mourning (when the author hadn't included the character very much at all--I understand how death can make people react, but when it's someone who had no point before in the story, it's a bit...pointless) or mindlessly petty drama, etc.

I'm rambling, but am I making any sense?

6/3/2008 . Edited 6/3/2008 #20
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, I think I understand that, but you had said something about this not including sci fi or fantasy? ... I guess you mean that original plot ideas are always cool, but creating havoc in your stories just for the heck of it is never cool? OK, I can agree with that! (I just hope I got it right, please tell me if I didn't!)

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

6/5/2008 #21
The Cat Died Nobly

Yeah, you got it right. ^^

For clarification, I meant that when I say realistic, I don't mean it in the plot sense--sci-fi and fantasy are fine as long as they are logically written out--realistic character/twist wise. If you want to Captain Gorblog, ruler of the planet Gogoplex #5, to go on a space treasure hunt, go right ahead. Just make sure he stays within his personality's boundaries, etc. :)

6/5/2008 #22
R.E.D. the animator

Here's something that spoils it for me: Long beginnings.

Yes I must have a short attention span, but the thought of reading through ten chapters of suspence only to find out that the story abruptly ends without ever taking off is just enraging to me.

It... makes... me... MAD!

MUST DESTROY FICTIONPRESS!!! MUST-

Woah! I blacked out there for a minute.

6/5/2008 #23
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I feel that way too, -I mean, I don't black out over it, but- I feel your pain. Although short beginnings can be a problem too, like, yeah ... it's shorta like jumping from one ditch to the other, I guess. You have to get it just right. You can't just say, "One there was a guy and he lived in this place and then ..." cause it'll bore your reader just as much. I guess the only reason why short beginnings isn't as bad as long beginnings is that they don't last as long.

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

PS; Please don't destroy FP, I have A LOT of stuff on here that, I think, was lost when my old computer crashed.

6/11/2008 #24
asylum writer

Something I really don't like is when people post an enormous story as one chapter. I've seen stories over 100,000 words with only one chapter. It could be a great story, but I won't bother reading it.

6/21/2008 #25
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

WOW! I can't imagine anyone thinking that that's a good idea! So obviously I agree with you! i have a TON of trouble paying attension to chapters over, like, 3, 000 words!

THANKS, and please Write on!

Pen.Dragon

6/21/2008 #26
Trmpetplaya1

(Off topic: Can I just say that this is the best forum thread I've read yet on FP? I enjoy reading everyone's opinions--and I don't feel like it's forced on me. Maybe I've been hanging out in the wrong places...)

What makes a humor story lose its appeal for me is when I can predict what's going to happen next. You've gotta catch me severely off-guard to make me laugh--and trust me, I'll love you for it.

I feel the same way on the insanely long introductions, but that's for any story. And I equally dislike when an author cuts to the chase too fast and lacks the necessary build-up. Let me know more about what your character is like and why they had such a hard/great time getting to wherever it is they get to.

And on the cuss words (since it was such a popular topic) I agree more with Cat in the sense that I don't use such language but my characters occasionally do since that's how I view them in my head. However, I completely respect Pen.Dragon and Co.s' decisions to not read stories that contain offensive stuff. Mad props. (That being said, I hope I'm not beating a dead horse).

:)

6/21/2008 #27
The Cat Died Nobly

Long chapters are definitely a bit of a turn off for me--it's all a bit too daunting, to open up a story and immediately be hit by a gigantic chapter. Some stories are worth it and you barely notice, however. Story length has never been a big deal to me; I write primarily oneshots or short stories because I have a problem with commitment, but one thing that always annoys me is character/plot development.

I may have alluded to this previously, but it's late and I'm in the mood to rant a bit. :P I always feel the need to grit my teeth whenever I read a story with one-sided characters and a flat plot. For example, I can't begin to count the amount of times I have come across a pretty, sarcastic spitfire who isn't in with the popular crowd yet totally adored by their king, a rich and equally beautiful male version of herself--aka, overconfident, rude, and always making snarky comments (though she'll never admit to her character flaws). The exact same thing she does, except she and the author are so convinced she's perfect, that he's always the one to mess up and need to metaphorically be standing outside her window and blasting "Say Anything."

When an author is so lacking in the creativity department that I feel an immense attack of deja vu wash over me, I don't even bother trying to get into it. I like characters with depth--and the fact that they cut, angst regularly, have an abusive parent and/or dramatic past don't count, contrary to popular belief--and a plot line that means something more than two frenemies betting on something utterly superficial which ultimately turns them into tru luvz 4 eva.

I'll stop before I rant so much I explode. I was feeling a bit bitter, I suppose--when you're a SKoW judge, you start to get a lot of nominations for utterly cliched, boring, overdone plotlines and it really starts to get to you. xDD

Over and out. :)

6/21/2008 #28
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

WOW! I don't check my email for a day or two and suddenly I have, like, two full pages of text to respond to! (I'm not complaining, I'm just surprised.)

First off, I'd like to thank you both for your contributions, neither of them were really all that "ranty" they were just honest. Secondly, I'll try to respond ... okay, maybe that's a lost cause. ... Cat, I can totally see where you are coming from, but don't you think that it's kinda hard to get a well rounded character into a oneshot? I mean, some of my best stories (for catching people off guard like Trmpetplaya1 was saying) have rather one dimensional characters and if they were developed more, they just wouldn't be as funny. ... Idk, I suck at writing long things of these, I just don't know how to organise them! So ... yeah.

That is all.

Pen.Dragon

PS: THANX Trmpetplaya1 for saying that you love this thread that much, it really means a lot to me! ;-)

6/22/2008 #29
Mockingbyrd's Tune

yet totally adored by their king, a rich and equally beautiful male version of herself--aka, overconfident, rude, and always making snarky comments

You have defined what I can’t stand, and I couldn’t put it better. Sarcasm is a great tool, but it’s overused.

Frenemies. Sigh. Will we ever stop trying to mimic Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? It’s too good a story not to try, I suppose. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, but even I’ve grown tired of the bickering dialogue of a couple on the verge of a passionate romance.

Uh-oh, I have a weakness for the eternal chapter one. How long do you think the first chapter should be, in general? (Assuming the piece has merit.) If it’s a developing story, can one go as many as six pages and get away with it? With humorous one-shots, isn’t it safer not to go over three pages? It is different for humor versus another genre; shorter is better in humor.

M.T.

6/23/2008 #30
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