Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Books: Bossypants by Tina Fey
I just finished Tina Fey's Bossypants and I feel like I was the last short, quirky, Saturday Night Live-loving, New York City-obsessed white girl with glasses in America to read it. People said that I would laugh out loud in public while reading, which I kind of doubted, but when I found myself giggling in the corner of a coffeeshop during my lunch break, I realized they were right. Not only was this book funny but I loved how Fey was open and honest about all parts of her life, even if it didn't paint her in the best light.
My absolute favorite part of this book was the two-page "Rules of Improvisation." It was in one of the first few chapters when Tina (we're on a first name basis now, apparently) was discussing her time at Second City in Chicago as an improv actor. These rules obviously apply to improv and performance acting but I found them so helpful with regard to my own writing. My takeaway is that no matter what you're writing, you need to go with it and at least give it a chance. If you have some lady walking into a dark alley, make something happen. Even if she doesn't get attacked or robbed in that alley, something should happen that propels the story, or scene, or skit. Don't just stand there and let your story flounder. Give it the assistance that it needs. If that lady gets through the alley without anything happening, perhaps the story isn't worth telling.
Tina Fey is a talented writer, which is really not up for dispute in my mind. It isn't easy to make a reader laugh and cringe and still stay interested while you talk about crazy co-workers and horrible hairstyles from the 1980's for 300 pages. If this wasn't a library book, I might be tempted to rip out a few pages, highlight them and stuck them on the wall above my desk.
*Note: I lovelovelove the chapter on Tina's honeymoon cruise/disaster. I thought that it was so funny that I made Anthony read it before bed one night and he laughed for ten straight minutes (proof that this book has universal appeal).