I am currently working on an alternate history story that involves dinosaurs in North America surviving the Chicxulub Impact. I don't give any explanation for this - that's not really essential to my story.
The story starts at the beginning of the Western Expansion, with "cowboys" now confronted with a western North America populated with dinosaurs. It's a humorous story (at least I'm attempting for it to be), but I am struggling with what might be considered "over-the-top" humor.
In it, I have a character pay my MC, a young boy, to acquire cats for his raptor, which he rides like a horse. The boy later tries feeding it chickens, but there is at least one cat fatality.
There is also a scene where the raptor bites a fairly unlikable character's head off, and later becomes ill and vomits the decapatated head, which rolls to the foot of a nearby church.
Granted, this sounds fairly vile, but I am wondering how I can address real issues that would occur in such a situation (especially considering how uncivilized the old West was in reality) without falling into gross-out humor.
quote:...how I can address real issues that would occur in such a situation....
It seems that trying to ride a raptor would go badly, so looking at the real issues has to be done with a wink, I think.
I don't know if these are gun-slinging TV saloon dwellers or working cowboys, but just about anything can go badly and therefore serve up pratfall yuks. If you tried to brand a dinosaur, that might go badly. Lashing one up to hitchin' post next to a horse might go badly. Taking your dino to a blacksmith might go badly. I guess just putting them in normal situations for horses would lead to the potential for yuks. Whether it becomes gross depends on the response to the situation, not the situation itself.
I really don't think you would take a dinosaur to a farrier (blacksmith?). I doubt if they would need shoes like a horse.
And you rarely see a carnivore eat another carnivore. I'm not saying it can't happen, but it doesn't ring true to nature. I believe this has to do with diets. A carnivore would prefer prey that eats plants rather than meat. Herbivores would taste much differently than a carnivore, which is the main reason you rarely see a carnivore eat another carnivore.
I think that if you make it obvious that it's absurd from the beginning, you won't have any problems. In that respect, even the most gruesome things can be funny. Consider Evil Dead 2.
quote:There is also a scene where the raptor bites a fairly unlikable character's head off, and later becomes ill and vomits the decapatated head, which rolls to the foot of a nearby church.
I was already laughing. If you're having things like this happen, I can't see it being taken too seriously. Though I hope there's a connection and a punchline when it lands at the church. Rather than the standard regurgitation scene - R2D2 on Degobah - you could have a, 'haha, uh oh,' scene. That's what struck me anyway.
Just have fun with it and that will transfer to the readers. They'll get it.