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Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Your Funny Bone and Other Mahem

“I could not tread these perilous paths in safety, if I did not keep a saving sense of humor.” -Horatio Nelson
“I think the scariest person in the world is the person with no sense of humor.” - Michael J. Fox

Writing humor isn’t easy. In my opinion, it is one of the most difficult genres there is. I don’t think you can learn it via a self-help book. I think it’s there nestled inside you at birth. It isn’t like buying a car. “I’ll take the Dodge with an upgrade of giggles.”

Books about writing funny (ha ha, not strange) range from known authors to psychiatrists. None of them ever tripped my trigger, but I’d like to know if any of our followers have tried to educate themselves via lessons. To me it seems they try too hard. And that kills the ride.

If I want to learn the funny side of writing, I have my Go To books, the examples that made me LOL. 



Dave Barry. Pick a topic. Any subject and the man will make it a hilarious tale. He has a way of putting the reader on a well-traveled road then jerking you off to roller coast that you never saw coming. 

Erma Bombeck. She’s been gone for a twenty years but boy howdy, she could write. 
Quotes: “If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.” 
“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” 
For a bit of specialness, Google When God Created Mothers. *sigh*

James Herriot. His books about the veterinarian practice in England are wonderful. But one of his books, All Things Bright and Beautiful contains his first glimpse of his newborn son. Seriously, thought I’d blow a mental fuse laughing so hard.

Justin Halpern. This author is a bit timelier than the ancients above are. Sh*t My Dad Says makes me laugh just thinking about it. Heavens, the mental images he creates. Read the first chapter and you’ll see.

As with most my writing skills, I depend on the examples of authors who know the ropes and run the trails. They are my inspiration whether writing Fantasy or Humor. Or a mixture of both.

"If you could choose one characteristic that would get you through life, choose a sense of humor." - Jennifer Jones

Ho Boy, do I ever agree with Ms. Jones.


Do you try to slip in a little hilarity in your books? Is there a self-help book that you can recommend?

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3 comments:

Liz A. said...

I'd like to think I slip in the funny, but I know very well that I do not. There's something about tone... It's hard to get right without sounding shrill or like you're trying too hard. I think funny is the very height of achievements, and one day I hope to get there.

Darla M Sands said...

I completely relate to what Liz said, as well as your post. :) Great examples of funny writers!

Comedic acting often gets sidelined as "not serious". Well, yeah! That's the point, critics! O_o The timing and yes, tone, require perfection to really work in any such endeavor.

Be well!

Kathleen Valentine said...

People always tell me I am funny even though I am usually not trying to be--of course, that may be what they find funny. I've long said that if you want proof that God has a sense of humor, just look around you!!!

@Kathleen01930 Blog