Originally, this blog was going to be about trapdoors, but that fell through.
Humor in writing is difficult. Not everybody has the same taste or sense of humor. Chances are if it’s funny to you, it will be funny to someone else too.
I found it’s all about set up. A well-timed joke or funny comment or moment requires foreshadow. Not the, hit your reader over the head with an Obvious set up, but something subtle.
The thing about humor is it’s personal. Not just to me the writer, or to you the reader, but mostly to the character in the story. If they don’t have personality or a pre-designed history the humor might fall flat. A sarcastic person is not likely to be droll but may use self-depreciating humor. A person prone to dry humor is likely witty and might lean on morbid humor. This is where its important that I know my characters.
Similes, metaphors, satire or irony are great methods of humor. A funny moment doesn’t have to be directly in the conversation either, it can be in the narrative or environment around the characters.
There are of course books galore and articles explaining how to be funny. They have some examples, but ironically are not funny in themselves. Or at least the few I attempted to read.
I found as I developed my characters funny moments just happened naturally. Conflicting or contrasting personalities helps.
Puns are easy, lazy and often work:
They were exhausted and ready to drop. As usual Carl was pushing them hard and receiving death glares from more than one in his unit.
“Come on boys bend like you actually give a squat!”
Larry leaned his head toward Cam. “Yells the guy doing diddly-squats.”
Cam snickered nearly losing his balance.
Maybe that’s funny, maybe not. I liked it.
My advice about humor.
Don’t sweat it, nothing slays the dragon of humor like overthinking it. If you’re stuck I suggest thinking about things that make you laugh. Next time someone says something funny write it down and think about why it made you laugh.
“It’s difficult to explain humor to kleptomaniacs, because they take things literally.” -unknown
Other blogs you might find funny.
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