How to Write Humour


How to Write Humour

Lynne North's Blog


Well, that’s obvious, isn’t it, you might say. Write something funny. But is it that easy? Think about it. How many programmes on TV have some people rolling about in hysterics, and leave others cold? Do you see what I mean? Humour is a personal thing, and the hardest part about writing it is that if you try too hard, it falls flat. If that happens too often in your book, then the reader will give up. That is something you seriously do not want to happen. So, how to write humour. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, is it?

Terry Pratchett

Let’s learn from the experts. You will have your own favourites. Study them. What do they do, and how do they do it? In my opinion the best writer in the world of humorous fantasy is Terry Pratchett. The humour seems to flow from his fingertips with ease and effortless regularity. It probably isn’t that easy for Sir Terry, but the thought that it is adds to the humour. One of my favourite classic lines from Terry (and there are so many) is this extract taken from The Wee Free Men (Yes, even the title is funny):

“Ordinary fortune-tellers tell you what you want to happen; witches tell you what’s going to happen whether you want it to or not. Strangely enough, witches tend to be more accurate but less popular.”

Hope Terry won’t mind me quoting that. Do you find that funny? I certainly do, but Terry writes it in all seriousness as if simply stating a fact. I think that is part of his success. He doesn’t force his humour down your throat. He lets it sit there quietly and unassumingly inviting you to laugh. What a writer.

Best Humour Sneaks Up On You

So, the best humour sneaks up on you unexpectedly and blends in with the tale. Having a character tell a really funny joke won’t have the same impact because a) the reader might not find it funny and b) you are telling your reader to laugh. The reader is in charge when reading your book. They don’t want to be told what to do.

Shall we get back to how to write humour? This will come from within, and be your own personal touch to your writing. If you want to write humour, then you must be someone who likes to laugh and who has a gift for amusing friends in ‘real life’. You say something unexpectedly, someone laughs. Remember it, and use it. The best humour is uncomplicated and comes naturally. Never have a character say something like ‘This is really funny, you’ll split your sides.’ That is asking for trouble. You are expecting a laugh, but the funny remark that is now expected might not have the desired effect. Have humour sneak up on your reader. If they don’t find it funny, then you have not promised them that it will in the first place. If it does make them laugh, then its simplicity has done the trick.

Old Lady Reading

Never be without a Pen and Paper

You will find your own niche when writing humour, and the more you write, the easier it will get. Never be without a pen and paper, and if you hear or see something that amuses you, jot it down. This is not to ‘copy’ funny things that others say or do, but to get you to see humour in the simplest things. Once you begin to see it, it will be much easier to write.

I find that when writing humorous fantasy, I like to turn the real world, and its expectations, on its head. I think that this works well in ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’ where my main character is a young witch. Warty, yellow and ugly she is not. Gertie is cute, pretty, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. That doesn’t make her journey into witch-hood any the easier. Nor does the fact that any spells she tries tend to have the opposite effect. Do you see what I mean? If readers are expecting everything to be as it is in life, then the unexpected can amuse them. I hope so anyway! I follow a similar theme in ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’, a book that is now going through its final draft. Finn is a leprechaun, but unfortunately one who was never blessed by the Good Luck Fairy. Not all leprechauns are lucky, and Finn proves this point many times over. Without giving too much away, Finn gets himself into something of a pickle far from home, and has to make his way back. Many creatures of Irish myth help or hinder him along his way, but not a one of them will be anything like you have read before...

So, my slant on humour tends to be to turn the expected on its head. I shall try to provide an example that I haven’t already used in one of my books. Let’s see, maybe you will write about an ogre. So, he is big, fat, ugly, and fierce and people are terrified of him. Right? Well actually, no. This ogre is called Cecil. He talks with a lisp in a very soppy voice and is terrified of insects. The fact that he lives in a draughty cave full of spiders doesn’t help him one bit. Cecil doesn’t sleep much in fear of being scuttled across when he closes his eyes. He also gets sick of heroes trying to make a name for themselves by riding along to try to part his head from his body. Poor Cecil tries to keep himself to himself, but isn’t very happy. When the chance comes to help a village in peril, will he take it, or is he too afraid? Do they deserve his help, even? Only by turning the pages will the outcome be revealed...

How does that sound? Have I given you any ideas about how to write your own brand of humour? I hope so, but whether this has made you want to dive for your pen or not, thanks for reading it, and the best of luck with all your writing!

Lynne North

Lynne North is the author of ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’, a children’s humorous fantasy published by Ghostly Publishing in 2013 and launched at Earl’s Court Book Fair, and ‘Zac’s Destiny’, a children’s Sword & Sorcery fantasy. Both are available on Kindle on Amazon worldwide.

To see more of Lynne North's work, click the link to her website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view her member details
Visit Lynne North's Blog.

Images used for the article can be viewed on their copyright sites by click the image except.
wahyucurug's Sisters used for our social media card

ReadersGazette.Com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Newsletter

© Copyright 2015 ReadersGazette.Com and on behalf of their authors, all rights reserved.

Scroll Down To Leave A Comment.

Written by Lynne

Visit RG Member 667
Below you can TWEET or SHARE this Article.
click the book image to see more about the book.

Well, that’s obvious, isn’t it, you might say. Write something funny. But is it that easy? Think about it. How many programmes on TV have some people rolling about in hysterics, and leave others cold? Do you see what...

Caution: Witch in Progress by Lynne North

Gertie Grimthorpe is born into a society of witches and grows up in Vile Vale, but there is something very wrong with her ... she is beautiful and couldn't be nasty if she tried.
When she finds out that she is to attend a private academy for magical children, Gertie hopes to find her witchy way in the world.
With a moat monster suffering from stomach ache, a shortsighted owl familiar, and mishaps galore, Gertie's adventures are hilarious and heartwarming.
Join Gertie as she...



Please Leave A Comment


ReadersGazette.Com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Amazon USA

Amazon.com - Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now

Shop Amazon - Contract Cell Phones & Service Plans

Join Amazon Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students

Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime

Amazon UK

Amazon UK Deals in Electronics and PC

Amazon Prime UK 30-day Free Trial

Amazon Prime Video UK 30-day Free Trial

Amazon Prime Music UK 30-day Free Trial

Audible UK 30-day Free Trial



Kindle Unlimited

Fast, FREE shipping and more. Prime members also enjoy exclusive access to movies and TV shows, music, unlimited photo storage and Kindle books.
Try USA Prime for FREE
Try UK Prime for FREE

Audible

Immerse yourself in inspiring voices by master storytellers who bring books to life, illuminating characters and taking you deep inside the story.
Try USA Audible for FREE
Try UK Audible for FREE

ALL THE ARTICLES

Click the image to view



Who Will Be The Next Doctor Who?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has apparantly tweeted that it will not be her to be the new Doctor Who but according to Ladbrokes she is still favourite. Yes really the Brits are gambling on who will become... continue reading click image.



Smooth Operator

Every set of “travel misadventure” stories has at least one “ladyboy” experience, we’ve all seen them regurgitated a thousand times and it all comes down to “got this gorgeous girl back... continue reading click image.



The Magic of Spirit

Go back to that time in your life when you have seen a magician, a film about magic or read a book and never forgotten that magical moment, lost in the world of the unknown, fantasy and magic it... continue reading click image.



Why a spirit of adventure can help you to become a memoir writer

Memoirs have become an incredibly popular genre of book in recent years. I don’t know when it started, but for me, the first memoir I read, which was Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence got me... continue reading click image.



6 lessons about the business of being an author

In 2014 I independently published my first book through Amazon’s Createspace and KDP. The process taught me a lot about writing, publishing, marketing and mainly myself. Recently, I was asked to... continue reading click image.



The Social Author

So you have written your novels and they sit waiting to be grabbed off of Amazon or one of the other Internet Book Stores and there they sit waiting and waiting. The problem with Amazon or anywhere... continue reading click image.



How to brand yourself as a writer?

A writer has to analyze his write ups and the subjects he is passionate to write about. He has to ponder over the kind of stories he likes to tell, narrate or serve to his readers. Eventually, that... continue reading click image.


Pages:  1 2 3 L




Try Video

Enjoy unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows. Anywhere, anytime.
Try USA Video for FREE
Try UK Video for FREE

Reading App

Read Everywhere with the Free Kindle Reading Apps.
USA FREE Kindle Reading App
UK FREE Kindle Reading App