Caption: The writer—a lifetime of solitary silence in pursuit of communication.
Madeline McEwen is back and this time she’s sharing her art and tips on how to add humor to your stories.
Everyone wants to hang out with comedians and each one of us believes we have a great sense of humor. Whether there is any truth in our belief, many writers aim to add humor to their stories. This is where success varies greatly, primarily because humor is subjective: what you find hilarious, I find dull and predictable, what I find side-splitting, you find boring. Why the great disparity?
According to the Huffington Post https://bit.ly/2Fz3OAX there are 9 types of funny;
slapstick, self-deprecating, surreal, improvisation, observational, wit/wordplay, topical/on trend, dark, and bodily functions or potty humor.
With these divisions in mind, how does a writer incorporate humor?
First up, a warning. Many publishers explicitly avoid the last items on the list, which means the other eight are up for grabs. Some are more easily adapted to the written word and others—improvisation and slapstick—are better suited to the visual arts. If you have the gift of second sight and a quick turn around, especially for non-fiction, then writing topical and timely pieces might be both fruitful and fun.
What does that leave? Self-deprecating, surreal, observational, wit/wordplay, and dark. Are any of these appropriate for you? Much depends upon your voice, which area[s] most suits your style, and plays to your strengths. However, humor can be a valuable tool; it adds variety and light relief after an ominous or emotionally charged passage to give the reader a breather.
Overall, humor is your ally not only in your writing, but in everyday life. Without it the world is colder, and if we learn to laugh at ourselves, we’re bound to live longer—and write more.
Personally, I think the Huffington Post skipped a couple of categories, namely sarcasm and irony–the much maligned and often overlooked poor relations of the mainstream funnies. Most people are familiar with this common quote:- “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit…” However, few remember the second half of the quote, “but the highest form of intelligence.” Oscar Wilde
Madeline McEwen is an ex-pat from the UK, bi-focaled and technically challenged. She and her Significant Other manage their four offspring, one major and three minors, two autistic, two neurotypical, plus a time-share with Alzheimer’s. In her free time, she walks with two dogs and chases two cats with her nose in a book and her fingers on the keyboard.
Here is the uni-link: