Mel Hynes (takhisis) wrote,
Mel Hynes


Feeling insightful today over everything except myself. Got to love that.

I've been thinking about the humor writing market lately. I do my occasional bits and pass them around or post them here, and people seem to generally enjoy them. I've been told that my humor-anecdote writing is often better than my horror (or at least is more widely enjoyed). I grew up reading Patrick McManus, and I think a lot of my anecdote style (as well as general sarcasm) is probably influenced by him. I've tried turning some of my friends onto his writing, but it's difficult.

"What's he write about?"
"Ah... well, hunting, fishing, general outdoors-sportsman stuff."
"Egh, not interested."

Which I can't blame them for... I'm not big on the whole Hemingway-esque wo/man-of-the-woods thing myself. But what I love about McManus isn't the subject matter, it's his writing. The man is a master of the humorous anecdote that everyone can see themselves in, even if the subject matter has nothing to do with their actual hobbies. He has recurring, well-established characters (my favorite being his childhood degenerate dog Strange, who "looked like he sold dirty postcards to support an Opium habit"), and a kind of everyman appeal to his situations that click with anyone who's ever had an embarassing moment. Just go read. Seriously.

I'd be interested in pursuing that avenue, except for one problem: market. McManus did most of his sales to "Field & Stream" and suchlike. Unfortunately, most of my story ideas in the humor vein are all over the place: piercing, the DMV, the "you must buy cookies for Jesus" lady... I've found an outlet for the ones involving the Meatloaves via the comic, but the others are rather scattershot. Most piercing mags I've run across and read aren't big on fiction or humor, tending more towards reviews of artists/shops/conventions or medical & technique details. Likewise, I haven't found any general magazines that cater towards full-length humor, most doing the same as Reader's Digest with 200-word quips at most. Everything else I've found accepts it only as a crossover (horror with humor, sci-fi with humor, etc.) I'd love to find if there are any magazines out there that cater towards real-life anecdotal humor full-length essays/articles.

And if there aren't any, that might be a niche some enterpreneur would want to address. ;)
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