How to write with humor

Gwen Bristol asked me to write about how I add comedy to my writing. Well, honestly, I am not sure. Most of my books lean more to the serious side. However, I have found that sarcasm is the easiest way to make my readers laugh. My main characters are usually lacking in self-confidence, so they always poke fun at themselves. I like my characters to be humble, even thought they have great responsibility and are awesome in action. That seems to always end with some sort of humor, no matter how dry.

I really liked this question because it made me think. But tell me something: how do you add humor to your books?


22 thoughts on “How to write with humor

  1. Howdy Briana,
    All my work tends to have humor in it. But like much of the creative process, how it come out of me is a mystery. I do know that it has to come naturally, it can’t be forced or it won’t be funny(I never write until my third cup of coffee). Briana, I agree with you on sarcasm being easier to use if you know how(It help if you’re sarcastic by nature). Your style of self depreciating characters is a nice way of doing it. It also make your characters more real.
    I’m almost done with Cord. Great Story! There were time I had troubles putting it down.

  2. I think it can be hard, what’s funny to one person, another doesn’t see. People say I have a very dry sense of wit, which makes me sarcastic. But I do love to read books that make me laugh!

    • It is difficult, I agree. You never know when you’re stepping over a line and going from funny to too much. But I love it when authors do it just right and I can laugh out loud! πŸ™‚

  3. I use humor to show the friendship and companionship between my two characters, but I’m not sure how humorous it is, really – it’s funny to them, and hopefully amusing to the reader.

  4. Interesting question. I think I only write humour when I’m consciously writing a black comedy or some lighter fare…don’t think my other work is that humorous really. It will be an interesting challenge in marketing my novels as some are in the comedy vein and some aren’t, so genre hopping!!

    But when I do humour I kind of work more from my intellect/left side of my brain I think and I write using a more caustic and detached voice, whereas when I write more serious work I think it comes from my heart/emotion/right side of the brain and the voice is somewhat wistful or lamenting. Oddly though, when I read my work back, the humorous stuff reads more like me, whereas the heartfelt stuff always feels like something wrote through me, if that makes sense. πŸ™‚

    • I think trying to add humor is tricky. Unless you’re writing a comedy, but then you are purposely going to add stuff that will make readers laugh. (I really am not sure, because I’ve never read a comedy book, so this is really just a guess.)
      And that is very cool how you described how both sides of your brain function separately to write different genres. I think you’ve been holding out on me, Ms. Helen the Scientific Genius! πŸ˜‰

  5. Unless absolutely forced to, I try to look on the gentler side of life in my writing. Even on my blog. I believe the world benefits from a – sometimes – seemingly warped impression.

  6. I made a note while working on my current draft of my current project which said: This is supposed to be fun.
    While there are serious moments, its important to color with a sprinkle of humor here and there. I think the real purpose is to make the characters and the story more human. I’ve read books without any humor, or too much humor, and both are a dreary prospect. It’s really about the tone and what is at stake at the moment. You can’t have the last, climactic moment be filled with slapstick, unless this is supposed to be funny.
    I find a lot of humor in putting my characters in awkward conversations, or in letting them make small mistakes – like I said, adding a humanity to the piece.

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