Lessons from the circus

I was supposed to post yesterday, but my parent's neighbors gave us some children's tickets to the circus (free with the purchase of one adult ticket! Is that really a deal? Because I see those tickets everywhere.), so we spent the afternoon at the fairgrounds.

It was fun! AND, I actually noticed some things that I'm unabashedly going to compare to writing. Kind of.


#1. Don't overuse words like AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL and TERRIFYING. Especially don't use the word GIGANTIC when referring to the main ring, which is only about 20 feet across.

#2. If you have three jugglers (or characters) doing an act together, make sure their names match. I'm not talking Lacy, Casey, and Stacy here, but Dimitri, Svetlana, and Jeremy? It throws me off.

#3. You can say a lot without speaking. The chair stacking guy climbs onto yet one more wobbly chair, holds out his arms, and boom, instant applause. Why don't we clap before? Same with the trapeze artists, the tiger tamers, the spinning-on-rope girls. They show all their actions through movement, and when they've achieved their goal, they give us the arms. Ta-da! The Globe of Death cyclers pump their hands up and down to get more audience participation. Actions speak louder than words, especially when there's really loud music playing.

#4. Someone should tell the hula hoop girl that anyone can twirl 20 hula hoops for two seconds. That was anticlimactic.

#5. The Power Puff Girls are alive and well, enjoying middle age as circus performers. They have grown but unfortunately, their costumes have not. (This really has nothing to do with writing, but I just thought you might like to know.)

Can you think of any more circus-related writing advice?


Ruth Josse said...

You crack me up. I think every one of these points are spot on writing tips. Even #5. Never let your dreams die no matter if the costume fits or not. Good, right?

Juliemybird said...

Dimitri, Svetlana and Jeremy. Oh, the laughter that caused. |*D <-- laughing out loud face.

Christine Tyler said...

Yeah, I can think of one! Taking the safety net out from under your acrobats makes things a heck of a lot more interesting, and it scares your mom to death so you love it even more. This actually happened at a circus when I was a kid.

Comparable to? Raising the stakes for your MC. Let us think that if they fail, they really REALLY might die. Let us wonder, as a reader, how heartless you could actually get as you take away the safety net...

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Love your post, as always! I always imagine circuses are bigger than they really are.