1.) Men called Raoul are to be avoided.
2.) Coffee can solve a lot of problems, but it doesn’t help you sleep.
3.) It is a really bad idea to make financial decisions after finishing an entire bottle of cheap wine. (Okay, even expensive wine.)
4.) If it sounds like a stupid idea, it probably is.
5.) Never EVER go easy on your protagonist. In fact, invoke the rule of WORST THING.
My name is Melodie Campbell and I write comedies. I came by this honestly, in an attempt to avoid being serious. Most of my life, I have tried to avoid being serious. (Which is why I was a dismal failure as a bank manager. That’s another blog – yup, a comedy. But I digress…)
So far, it’s worked. THE GODDAUGHTER’S REVENGE is my 5th non-serious book.
But here’s a secret: writing non-serious is serious hard work.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
Comedy writers take a situation, and ask themselves ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen now?’ And then, ‘what’s the funniest?’
In THE GODDAUGHTER’S REVENGE, Gina discovers that her weasel cousin Carmine has switched real gems for fakes while he was babysitting her jewelry store. The lousy rat! Now, some of her best clients are walking around with fake rings on their fingers. Her rep is seriously on the line if anyone finds out. What’s a girl to do?
Mastermind a bunch of burglaries to steal back the fakes, of course. She is the reluctant Goddaughter of the local mob boss, after all.
So let’s invoke the rule of Worst Thing. What’s the worst thing that could happen to Gina when she breaks into houses? She could get caught by the cops. Or shot as an intruder. But that would end the story pretty quick, and we don’t want that.
Also, I don’t want ‘worst thing’ all the time. This is a comedy. We need a balance of pathos and bathos. So what’s the funniest thing that could happen?
All the burglaries could go wrong. That’s our worst thing. And the WAY they go wrong is the comedy.
Houses aren’t empty when they should be. Her accomplice is a manic critic of interior design. Everyone in Steeltown is following the antics of “their very own Pink Panthers” in the local newspaper. The more Gina tries to be invisible, the more they become a sensation!
Worse and worse. Funnier, and hopefully, funnier. And that’s my rule of ‘best thing.’
Melodie Campbell has over 200 publications, and six awards for fiction. She was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer, and both the 2012 and 2013 Arthur Ellis awards. Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.
Library Journal says this about The Goddaughter (Orca Books):
“Campbell`s crime caper is just right for Janet Evanovich fans. Wacky family connections and snappy dialogue make it impossible not to laugh.“