Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writing Humor Into Your Story

Hey, all! I'm finally back with another blog post! I took an end of the year hiatus but now I'm back. :) And I'm working hard on editing my sci-fi novel Subsapien Biomech. ^ ^ But anyway ... on to the post!

Humor is important for your story whether it's a dystopian, a fantasy, or a contemporary. It isn't just for comedies. It endears you to the characters of the story. It can help relieve tension in the story, because though tension can be good it becomes exhausting at times so a little joke or a funny incident can be a nice break. And hey, everyone likes to laugh.

A tool used a lot by writers is the Comic Relief Character. They crack the most jokes or do the most funniest things either on purpose or naturally and bring a little humor into the story.

Some examples are Sokka from Avatar: the Last Airbender, Walter Foley from the Dragons in Our Midst series by Bryan Davis, Merry and Pippin from the Lord of the Rings, and Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games trilogy. One from my science-fiction series Subsapien is Emil.

Though these characters are often funny that shouldn't be the sole role of the character. These characters are also vital to the plot of their stories. Keep that in mind if you decide to include a comic relief character.

What makes you laugh? What do you laugh about with your friends? Do you like random humor? Like a character thinking up something totally out of the blue like Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty? Do you like witty humor like from Jane Austen books and films? Do you prefer goofy humor like Sokka from Avatar: the Last Airbender? Do you like slapstick like when a character does something klutzy?

You can find a way to weave this into your books during a rest period in your story or possibly in the middle of the action. If it makes you laugh, the reader most likely will too. A couple funny lines scattered here and there makes your story more enjoyable and this especially helps with darker stories. Effie Trinket not intentionally is the humor of the Hunger Games. She lightens up the mood when things get too tense.

Be careful about having too many funnies or your book becomes a comedy or they will become tedious. Strategically place your jokes at appropriate times in your story and they'll be the most effective. Sometimes a funny scene is good, but if it slows down the story too much you'll want to cut back.

Some examples of some good well-placed humor:

1.) In Avatar: the Last Airbender Season 2 Book 2 Earth Episode 11 "The Desert" the gang was stuck in the
Sokka (Avatar the Last Airbender)
desert and wandered for quite some time. To add in a way to make the journey less tedious the writers had Sokka drink some hallucinogenic cactus juice and it was hilarious.

2.) In the Hunger Games film, Haymitch, Peeta and Katniss were having a conversation over breakfast that got a little tense. When Katniss stabbed the table the with a knife Effie Trinket shouted from across the room, "That's mahogany!" This was both funny in its randomness and showed the character's over the top concern with materialistic things.

3.) In the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Merry and Pippin were fleeing from an orc in Fangorn Forest. Pippin climbed up a tree to avoid their pursuer while Merry was being attacked by the orc, but the tree turned out to be an ent (a living tree creature).

The Ent saved Merry from the orc, but held both the hobbits in a crushing grip unsure if they are friend or foe. In the middle of the Ent's indecision on whether to kill them or not Pippin said, "It's talking, Merry! The tree is talking!" This effectively broke up the tension a little.

I hope this post helped you in writing humor! Happy writing and may the muse be ever your favor! ;)

Do you have a Comic Relief Character? What are some funny jokes in your books? 

You may also like:
Six Tips For Line Editing
Tone Down But Don't Water Down
Write What You Know ... And What You Don't Know
Twelve Rookie Writer Mistakes and How to Mend Them
From Lemons to Book Experiences

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)

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