Top 5 ways to add humor to your writing. I know I’ve said this already, but there are far more than 5 ways to add humor, and each on varies depending on your style. Not everyone likes the same humor when they read, and not everyone is great at the same humor when they write. These examples, and the previous 5 I posted last week, are just a few options for adding humor and while they might work for some, they won’t work for everyone. Find your inspiration and have fun, because you can’t find things funny if you aren’t having fun.
1 Break the Wall
Breaking the 4th wall can be very funny. It’s like when Bugs Bunny looks at the screen and says “Screwy ain’t I?” Book characters shouldn’t know they are in books. They shouldn’t know it’s a story. When they do, it can add a definite laugh.
2 Add the ridiculous
Starting with the normal and adding something over the top ridiculous can be very funny, especially if it’s given like stereo instructions.
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3 Laugh at yourself
Or have your main character laugh at themselves. Humor can be confrontational. You can’t make fun of races, creeds, body types, etc, without looking like a total jerk. Instead, your main character can poke fun at their own strengths and shortcomings, like super long toes, freakish knowledge of the history of yard gnomes, and their ability to guess a person’s name just by looking at their butt.
4 Take yourself seriously
This is the antithesis of number 3. A character who takes themselves very seriously, so matter how silly they might be can be hilarious. The character passionately defends their super long toes, freakish knowledge of the history of yard gnomes, and their ability to guess a person’s name just by looking at their butt.
5 Try out gags
Let someone (better yet, lots of someones) read your story and see if they laugh/smile/etc in the right places. I always tell my critique partners that if it makes them feel an emotion while they read, I would like them to indicate it. I need to know when it works and when it doesn’t.
When I see a LOL or a where I want the reader to laugh, and an Oh no, or where I want the reader to be sad, I know I’m on the right track. If I don’t see enough LOLs in a funny scene, I will usually revamp the humor to punch it up and try again. Remember though, everyone’s idea of humor is different, so don’t expect everyone to laugh at every joke. The way I look at it, majority rules.
I hope my little list gave you a few chuckles and a few more ideas.
Heat, Humor, and Heart,
Whatever the Century.