The Indoor Writer took a new piece of Flash out for a test run at a local Poetry & Prose Slam event at the weekend. She was lucky enough to be picked (names out of a box) and found herself reading on stage to an audience. Thankfully, she'd rehearsed the piece several times (too many times shout the rest of the family) in the kitchen with a stopwatch to ensure it met the 5 minute rule. She also tried out a bit of acting ...
The reading and the event was a success. The audience actually laughed in all the right places and oohed a few times too. All good. A writing friend commented on how calm she appeared, which is odd because she didn't feel it at the time!
Many of the poems and stories read were written to make an audience laugh. Always a good tip for entering a slam competition. But worryingly many relied on expletives to get a giggle. Now I'm no prude, and the Indoor Writer is not adverse to the F-word in her short fiction or a bit of sauce in her Flash, but it does start to grate with over use. The winning story was very funny and performed expertly by the author, who seemed quite capable of doing a stand-up routine (possibly he does this already?). The material was almost suited to stand-up - the spoof minutes of an office meeting. Anyone who has ever worked in an office environment would have recognised all the in-jokes and truisms. It was genuinely funny and cleverly written. But would it and other pieces have been equally comic without the F-word? Once can be effective and VERY funny, but repetitive use wears thin. Or it does for me.
What do you think?