Pointers from a Mind of Dark Humor: Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

1) In a short story, if someone is fearful that some particular and awful thing is going to occur, then it must not occur. Something else must occur…

2) In horror stories such as this, there must, there absolutely must be a touch of humour somewhere. Laughs. Always. This is the one abiding mistake that so many writers of horrific stories make.

3) Keep on writing. I’d concentrate on the story. And make it interesting right from the word go. Give it a beginning. Then a middle. Not only an end.

4) Of critics, Dahl said: “I have nothing to do with the buggers.”

From Wikipedia:

Roald Dahl (pron.: /ˈroʊ.ɑːl ˈdɑːl/,[2] Norwegian: [ˈɾuːɑl dɑl]; 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter.

Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the British Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of Wing Commander. Dahl rose to prominence in the 1940s, with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world’s best-selling authors. He has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”. In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children’s books for their unsentimental, often very dark humor.

Some of his notable works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine and The BFG.

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