I am now going to touch upon the...touchy subject of writing satire. We all have read Mark Twain. His satirical sense of humor has kept readers in stitches for over a century. But what is it that makes his writing funny? There is a fine line between being sarcastic, and being satirical. According to the dictionary, "Sarcastic" means: "Having or marked by a feeling of bitterness and a biting or cutting quality." while "Satirical" means: "Artistic form in which human or individual vices, folly, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods..."
That definition is a little harsh for the kinds of satire I'm talking about....I'm discussing using burlesque or irony, not so much derision and ridicule. Basically, the difference between sarcasm and satire, is that one is used intending to hurt someone, and the other is used to make a point. Some of Twain's writing bordered on sarcasm at times. But satire, when used correctly, can be very effective. A little while ago, I wrote a satirical piece for Daniel, poking fun in a good-humored way at some stereotypes of homeschooling conservative Christendom. It truly amused, and relieved him! Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously, and just need to step back and laugh at ourselves! :) I did not write the piece to be malicious, or hurt any one's feelings, and I made sure it was not a direct slight to anyone, as that was not the intention! :) I can have a bit of license with this sort of thing, since I am poking fun at myself and my family in that same group. (Conservative, homeschooling, Christian satire! :P) Satire can be witty, and hilarious. Or it can be ill-natured, and clumsy. Careful which kind you write! Some people do not understand satirical humor, and may see your composition as an insult, so do be careful who you write for, and what you are writing about! :) Keep it good-humored, and truly funny. Don't be bitter, taunting, or malicious, and if you find yourself too prone to criticize others, than maybe you shouldn't be writing satire! ;) Practice writing satirical pieces for your family or friends. It's an interesting style, and in moderation, can be truly funny and effective. But it's like using cayenne pepper in a recipe, a little goes a long way! :) I love exploring different kinds of writing, and writing my little satirical composition was a fun departure from normalcy! Just my thoughts on the subject! What do you think? -Rachel
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