Fill It Full Of Farts


I’m sorry…I can’t help it…farts make me laugh! Loud ones, squeaky ones, wet ones, silent ones, and especially the military-grade ones. Whether they are created naturally by someone who is gastronomically challenged, or artificially by whoopee cushions, it makes no difference to me. I understand there are LOTS of people who don’t go in for this type of crude humor (my wife for example), but I am not one of them. I seriously cannot recall a time when I heard one and it didn’t…at the very minimum…bring a smile to my face. I’m positive I can’t be alone in this. Most of us have more than a few things …maybe not farts… but something that elicits that kind of emotional reflex within us.







As writers, one of the things we strive for is originality. Monday I talked about telling stories in a way that’s never been tried before. How else can we hope to set ourselves apart and draw attention to our work…right? Well, today I’m here to flip the coin. There is another way to commercial success in publication and on the surface it might appear to be 180 degrees in the other direction. Want to publish the next best seller…fill it full of farts!

What I’m trying to say with my lopsided metaphor is there are elements of the human condition that tend to trigger emotional reflexes (just like farts make me laugh), and most good books make liberal use of them. Who doesn’t enjoy rooting for the underdog, or the hero up against insurmountable odds? What about wanting to see the unlikely couple find true love? These (and many more) are universal themes, scenarios, and situations that are used over and over and over and over again…successfully…because they strike a chord in us. Does striving for originality mean we have to abandon these time-honored principles? Not necessarily.

The challenge for us is to find a way to incorporate those reflex-inducing fundamentals into our stories in such a way as they don’t come off feeling stale or tired, thus sabotaging our quest for some measure of originality. This is not an easy task…but that is why we do what we do.

Give me a futuristic sci-fi novel with an android that farts, and I’m sold! :) 

33 comments

  1. I think farts are funny...as long as I don't have to smell them. Howard Stern has made a whole career out of farting. And my 9-year-old grandson has discovered how to get a reaction from my daughter by farting. For me? Seeing someone stumble and fall makes me giggle. If there's blood or exposing bones though, I'll stifle.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Flatulence is funny, that's all there is to it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seeing someone get hit in the tenders always makes me laugh. It's painful and funny all at the same time.
    Stick with what works in writing I say.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Farts are always funny but in my experience (ie female-filled household) it's a boy thing. There is a great tradition of toilet humour in Britain!

    Your idea of presenting universal tropes in a fresh way is a tall order, but something to think about. I would definitely read a farting android novel. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. What Marcy said.

    No really, thanks for posting this! I was revising my Tesla-punk manuscript last night, where all the apprentices in his lab swear with science/invention oriented curses -- like Bell's Balls! Great Bob Fulton's Left Nut!

    Last night I added Faraday's Flatulence! I was thinking of taking it out. But now it stays.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A great point, D.L. What's that expression- nothing new under the sun? Just means it;s time for us to give it out own spin.

    And, I hope you don't have a billion of these, but I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award because of your tireless efforts to promote bloggers, help writers get connected and help us all get better at our craft. You can pick it up here: http://bev-thebevelededge.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-v-20.html

    I hope you'll accept it, even if you have gotten it a billion times, because you inspire me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Growing up with 7 brothers...yah, I get the farts. I laugh more at them laughing, then because it's funny. Although there was a oh so proper friend of my mother. The kind with every hair in place and an Emily Post book of etiquette in her, match her shoes, purse. Then there was my 2 oldest brothers and a whoopee cushion. lololol! Oh the look. I still laugh. My husband has a corny sense of humor and the things that make him laugh make me shake my head. My humor runs more to dry and witty.

    Seriously, you are correct. There's nothing new under the sun. The themes are universal but they work. It is as you say, finding your way of making that theme fresh.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

    ReplyDelete
  8. I grew up with a brother and uncles who thought the whoopee cushion was high art. I also had several young uncles. Men gotta laugh at something. It goes with the love of exhaust fumes and loud noises (big badda boom) that guys like.

    Catchy title to draw us in, DL! I think I agree with your wife, in general.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Original farts... okay, I can go with that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have to find a way to make it yours, eh? --Something that has your unique spin on life. I adore writing that has unconventional characters/aspects, so why are we so timid as writers to use them?

    ReplyDelete
  11. We are obviously twins, separated at birth. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well it certainly is a different subject to write about, I if I could write a poem on the subject.

    Most enjoyable to read.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think people like having the "familiar". They know what to expect. The trick, like you said, is to make it so that it's familiar, but not stale.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Give me a futuristic sci-fi novel with an android that farts, and I’m sold! :) " Definitely made me think of Futurama.

    My first go-thru of my first novel, I tried emulating Tolkein. The result was dry and humorless. Then I said (around draft 6) "what do I find funny and awesome?"
    It's improved the book a fart-load.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a twelve year old boy trapped in a woman's body when it comes to humor. "Dumb and Dumber" is one of my favorite movies and I especially love the bathroom scene with Jeff Daniels.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Farts are funny. When I was in college, my lab partner (who was working on his PhD at the time) used to light his farts with a Bic lighter. Research was always more fun when he was around, lol! Anyway, my kids are now at that age where farts (we call them 'toots') are hands down, the funniest things next to getting tickled by the tickle monster. I've been known to toot and blame it on my kids. They never believe me. I'm such a wonderful mom. :P

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gas is funny. :) Last night Husband Unit and I spilled a lot of popcorn. the third spill triggered a huge fit of giggles from me. There was this huge mound of popcorn on the floor under our feet. People like to laugh, I've noted. Shows with some humor seem to do better.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm with your wife on the jocularity (you have no idea how long I've waited to use that word) of bathroom type humor, BUT an android that farts; that made me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love Marcy's response! :)

    This is definitely how we all bring our unique perspectives to our writing though! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. When I saw the title of your post on my blogroll, I had no choice but to read the post. True confession: I think farts are hilarious. So much so, I've even done complete posts about them before. And um, yes, there may be some intestinal discomfort and out-gassing in my book. No androids, though. (That would be tooooo funny.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Marcy summed it up nicely. There are fundamental differences between men and women, and I think an appreciation of farting is one of them. It's not universal, of course, as you can tell from some of the comments, but it's only the women who work both sides of the fart fence. As a sociologist, this was the type of gender differentiation that fascinated me, which explains why I'm now a writer. :)

    Point well made, DL. There is nothing new under the sun. The only alternative is to take what's old, make it ours, and make it new again.

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm still chuckling about an android that farts. LOL. Farts aren't my thing, but anything with physical comedy will have me rolling in the aisles.

    Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Farts are hilarious, and I'd think so even if I didn't live with two dudes. Love this whole writing metaphor and I'm not likely to forget it any time soon! Nice one!

    ReplyDelete
  24. You don't know it, yet, but my story "The Magic Cookies" is for you. One of these days, I'll have it out, although it is in Charter Shorts, Too. You really need to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Can't remember the name of the movie - a RomCom - but the two guys switched bodies while peeing in a public fountain and making a wish. Anyway, one of my favorite scenes is the bachelor - switched into his married best friend's body - watches the nude wife in all her sexual glory pick up a magazine, sashay through the bedroom as he drools over her backside; then she sits on the toilet and drops a load. Funny funny, even if it is crude. So killed the romance for him. I thought that was a very original way for them NOT to have sex, even though I knew something had to kill the moment. I was glad it wasn't his moral conscience, or the baby crying to rescue them.

    .......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gastronomically challenged? LOL, ROFL. ROFLMAO!The scene from Blazing Saddles around the campfire still cracks me up. You are not alone. And me, a proper, genteel southern lady to boot. What's even funnier is the people who try to hold them in.

    ReplyDelete
  27. AHAHAHA!! Oh, the time-honored tradition of laughing hysterically when someone farts. My old college roommate's boyfriend used to fart, look around innocently, and say, "Is there a duck in here?" Completely stupid joke, but it cracked us all up every time. I hope that one day we will write "fart-tastic" stories that will trigger the laugh reflex (or whatever other emotion we're going for) in our readers!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good points. One way to be different is to take a cliche and turn it on its head. Romance novels used to be filled with trite scenes where the bad woman threatened the family of the good girl, unless the good girl gave up the hero. Tearfully, nobly, the good girl did so. Then Julie Garland wrote a scene where the good girl pulled out a knife and threatened to cut off the nose of the bad woman if bad woman said anything bad about good girl's family. I loved the twist. It's more common now.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am with your wife, not a fan of fart humor.

    I agree with you that we should tell stories in ways that have never been told before.

    ReplyDelete
  30. HAHAHA! Farts don't quite set me into hysterics...but this blog post made me snicker (: You're so right though! We all want to be original, but we have to come up with our originality off of something. In the words of Inception, "True inspiration is impossible to fake." Besides, we can't be so original that people don't understand what they're reading. You have to keep themes there readers already know... but you've already said this. (: Awesome post!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just wanted to add this (but I don't know where I heard it...)
    Why fart and waste it, when you can burp and taste it...
    Eeeew!

    ReplyDelete

 

Archives

Blog Blitz

Design by: The Blog Decorator