Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Injecting Humor

You don't have to write a Comedy to take advantage of humor in your fiction. Whether reading Young Adult fiction or murder mysteries, I love reading a passage that tickles my funny bone. People do tend to look at me as if I am crazy when I laugh out loud while sitting in an airport or in a physician's waiting room. However, a well-written passage can leave a smile on my face for days.

So what are some ways to inject comedy into your story?


1. Colorful Characters

No matter the genre, you can insert fun secondary characters. They are often the most memorable. Don't insert them for just for color (every character should serve a purpose) and avoid clichés.

2. Playful Banter

There have to be resting beats between tense or emotional crises in a story. Injecting a little clever back and forth dialogue can provide that relief.

3. Absurdities

There are funny things in daily life readers relate to. From pet humor to dealing with toddlers, we can all appreciate life's little absurdities. That is why social media memes are so successful.

4. Jokes

It may take a little practice and some study, but being able to write a good joke that your reader can repeat later is an extra little present. Make sure it is organic to the plot. Don't have the character lob it out of the blue. But a carefully placed belly buster will make someone's day.

5. Made-Up Words

Create unique humorous names for things, places, people, or situations. You never know when a made-up term or phrase will catch on and spread across the internet or be added to the dictionary.

Remember to lighten up a little. Your readers will thank you for it.

If you are interested in writing a Comedy, check out my newly released fill-in-the-blanks Comedy Build A Plot Workbook, part of my Story Building Blocks series available in print on Amazon and via request at a bookstore near you.

Diana Hurwitz is the author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

13 comments :

  1. It's always interesting when the characters add some humor during sex. Mine tend to do that. :D

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  2. If you can't laugh during sex, you aren't doing it right. LOL.

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  3. My writing tends to tip into funny no matter how hard I try to prevent it. I keep hearing a little voice whispering "We haven't had a joke in a while..."

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  4. Writing humor is fun, especially when it catches the readers completely off guard and makes them snort.

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  5. Really good post, Diana. Which reminds me that I need to add some humor in my work in progress. There's always banter, and a writer needs to be careful with that or it becomes irritating, but a good belly laugh should accompany every book somewhere.

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  6. Being caught off guard is the prize. However, there is nothing worse than lame attempts sprinkled throughout. Writing funny is hard! It really helps to have your critique group reading your drafts. They help point out the funny places. Which is really helpful if you didn't intend for that particular part to be funny!

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  7. My husband and I still use "Because we are older and have more insurance." from Fried Green Tomatoes.

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    1. I love "Tawanda!" I use that for empowering myself. LOL

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  8. Comedy is not my thing, but natural, believable humor between characters adds to the flow and realism of a good story -- even when that story is not a funny one. Great post, Diana.

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  9. Perfect timing with this, as I have been working to add more humor into my writing!

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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