Comic Relief

I’ve been wondering lately if there’s a lack of interest in Finding ‘Ohana because of the heavy subject matter.

I mean, have you ever been in a bookstore and read the back cover of a book that sounds great, but you didn’t buy it because it sounded a little depressing? For example, a book that deals with death, and an identity crisis, and parents disowning their only daughter because she’s a lesbian?

If I’m completely honest, I’d say that upon seeing such a book I might not buy it. Maybe it’s because I get a little too emotionally invested in fiction. It feels real to me – possibly because I know that no matter how far-fetched the story, it most likely has happened to somebody.

But maybe the fact that it has happened to real people is exactly the reason why it should be out there. People should know what the reality is. Ignorance is only bliss for the people who don’t have to live with the consequences.

And if an agent or a publisher could just read Finding ‘Ohana through to the end, they would know that it’s actually quite uplifting and inspiring. All the trials Cinnamin goes through only make her story more beautiful when she comes out of it a stronger person.


(I could go into more detail here, but I truly hate spoilers. If any of my blog audience has read Finding ‘Ohana in full, please leave me a comment and let me know whether or not the end of the book made the journey worth it for you.)



Now, don’t get me wrong, Finding ‘Ohana is not all doom & gloom until the last page. It does show happier times in Cinnamin’s life, with Naali as well as with family and friends. And Finding ‘Ohana does have a few humorous moments too, they’re just not what I would call laugh-out-loud funny.

So here’s my question for all you readers out there: Do you need comic relief in a book in order to enjoy it, especially when the book deals with heavy subject matter? Or do you think that some books need to be serious?


4 thoughts on “Comic Relief

  1. Humor in non humorous writing is like commas. Well placed, it provides a welcome break in thought and pace, allowing the reader to pause if only for a moment. Poorly placed, it feels awkward, unnecessary, and distracting. It is tough to decide when to include it. I think the best place for it, like commas, is when it feels natural. Humor is a natural reaction to the various stimuli of the world, including things like tragedy. When a moment, no matter how tragic, is also absurd, it can be humorous. Having this appreciated and pointed out is something we humans use to stay sane. Even in the darkest books, I need some levity, some absurdity, some humor, because it is natural. Without it, a book doesn’t feel real.

    • Thank you for such a thoughtful comment! You make a lot of good points. I guess now my only question is whether or not I have enough comic relief for my book to feel real. I’ve never thought of myself as an especially funny person, although I do have my moments, and I think my writing is the same.

      Now, you have read my book in full, so you can get a little more specific, if you’re so obliged. Do you think it should have more comic relief in order to feel more real? Do you think the ending made the journey worth it?

  2. When I read a book, there needs to be some balance. Balance lends itself to reality and without it I think a reader can have a hard time empathizing with anything that’s going on; it can get almost too fictional even with everything that’s happening being fully within the realm of reality.

    Humor is a very natural defense mechanism for people, and can intensify during tragic times. And, even at our darkest moments, we as humans can still find humor in things. I guess what I’m saying is that people who go through terrible things can’t talk about ONLY those terrible things either. Life goes on and with life comes humorous moments

    • Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. Maybe I should try to add more humor. The problem is knowing how & where. Any recommendations for knowing the best way to had comic relief to a dark scene?

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