I’m known for my comedy. Humor is my wheelhouse. Most of what I write is pretty lighthearted. But I think humor writers, in some ways, have the harder task: we have to tackle reality with laughter instead of with pitchforks. It can be trying.
In my soon-to-be-released book, Beta Beware, DJ has to deal with religion in terms of how the Figments see it:
“So you never have to do something in real life you don’t want?” Shiv asked.
DJ slapped at his hand before he could pat her head. She wasn’t sure if he was trying to console her, but she didn’t like it. “Well, of course. That’s called being responsible. My kids call it ‘adulting’. But no one is making me.”
Eric put a finger to his nose. “Not as far as you remember. But what if all those times you adult someone is moving the pieces to make a move? What if you really have no choice in the matter?”
DJ was starting to really miss the snarky game text. At least she knew how to deal with it. “Then I don’t see what the purpose would be in trying. I believe in free will. If my life was like that, I might as well be a…”
“Character?” Eric suggested.
Shiv said, “Or a Figment, even?”
“I was going to say ‘slave’,” DJ said. “Stop putting words in my mouth.” She frowned. “But I see your point.” She didn’t like the feeling she was getting in the pit of her stomach. “Do you not get any say at all in what happens to you?”
Eric just shrugged, but Shiv said, “Sometimes we get to feel like we do. There are Writers who like to think their Characters write the story. They leave things more open to chance.”
“It’s not really chance, but they think it is.” Eric gave another shrug. “It is what it is.”
“Doesn’t it bother you?”
“This is our theology, our religion,” Shiv said. “Your world has gods. Our world has Writers. Do you resent your gods when they cause something to happen that you don’t agree with?”
“Sometimes,” DJ admitted. “But my religion believes in free will. God has the ability to make things happen, but He lets us make our own choices.”
Eric wove a daisy chain from flowers that popped up one at a time, the next one growing only when he picked the one before it. “Then your god is a pantser, really. He lets things develop without a plan.”
“No, there’s a plan. At least, that’s what our religion teaches.”
Shiv took a daisy before Eric could, which earned him a frown. “Then a plantser or plotser. A little of both.”
Eric waited patiently for the next daisy. “Plotters don’t like to give up control.”
“Hey, I’m a plotter!” DJ muttered.
Shiv nodded. “I already pegged you as a bit of a control freak. That’s why the helplessness bugs you so much. A pantser like Christopher just goes with it.”
DJ glared at him, but couldn’t put a lot of fire into it. “I don’t like this comparison. It’s like you’re saying my whole life is nothing more than someone else’s story.”
“Doesn’t your religion have its own book? Most of them do.” Eric finished his daisy chain and made it into a full circle.
DJ sighed. “I get more and more confused here. I thought you said this was a game, not a book?”
“Game, book… just two sides to the same coin, really. The difference is only in how it’s presented.” Shiv looked around. “Discussing theology makes me hungry. You don’t have any food, do you?”
Do you use humor to tackle tough concepts? Do you like reading tough concepts tipped on their side in a parody?