This blog was submitted by Lane Stone:
Panels at C3 reflected the casual, inclusive spirit of the conference. By way of follow up, I thought I’d inflict the notes I had prepared for my panels on you now.
Here are the bullet points from my remarks in the “What’s so funny about…?”
According to my informal survey people preferred the first Sex in the City movie to the second. In the follow on, there was too much ‘set up for a joke, joke.’ Humor in your novel should be organic to the plot and the characters. Next, consider your genre. In mysteries, you can use humor to give your readers a break from the tension you've created. Whereas, in romance, including romantic suspense, editors tend prefer your heroine have very few funny lines. Her best friend can cracks jokes all the time. Last, and you’ll have to trust me on this, after you read your funny lines a couple of hundred times you’ll question them. Rely on your critique partner.
“The morals of heroes & heroines.”
In this post-Breaking Bad world, we need to think of our protagonist’s moral code, rather than his or her morals. In my Tiara Investigations series, the three sleuths start a detective agency and don’t tell their husbands, which forces them to meet clients at a local Cracker Barrel. Sure, this deceit might look immoral to some, but it is consistent with their code of sisterhood. Consistency is key – until it’s not. Again, consider your genre. In romantic suspense, characters are expected to change. They work their way through some internal conflict and are different by the end of the book, so they can – you guessed it – love again. In cozy mysteries, the sleuth changes very little. Think Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Your sleuth’s life might change (or not) but not her moral code. And remember, show don’t tell your hero or heroines moral code.
Loved the conference!