This week RWA/NYC members share their observations
about adding humor to their writing.
LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH…WRITE.
By Maria Ferrer
I firmly believe that if your writing makes you laugh, then others will laugh too. Writers can’t really force the laughs, because it shows. One has to visualize the actions, the consequences, the reactions and get all that down on paper. Always remembering to make sure the joke fits the character(s). You don’t want them to look stupid and you don’t want to be cruel.
I’m not an expert, but where are some tricks I like to use when writing funny:
Characters – don’t be afraid to make fun of your heroes. You want to throw them in awkward situations for the laughs and to move the plot along.
1) Names can be funny. For example, if the whole family is made up of women named Rose after the matriarch. Or have a family of siblings named after states or cities – Tennessee, Paris.
2) Quirky characteristics can help you write funny too. The big body builder with the teacup Chihuahua. The nerdy professor with a bright bow tie. The nervous thief who eats her hair.
Situations – get your characters out of their comfort zone and let them have it. A pie in the face is always good for a laugh.
1) Location, location, location. Any place can be funny; it all depends on how you are using it. A Bed and Breakfast in New Hampshire with each room a different time period or a different BDSM room. Think Dominatrix lost in Main Street, USA. Think New Yorker lost in Arkansas.
2) Forget being politically correct. This is fiction. All bets are off. Everyone and everything is fair game.
You want readers laughing with your characters, not at them. Well, at least, not always laughing at them. You have to make your prose funny, but remember that you are telling a story and it has to move on and come to a funny and a happy ever after.
Some of my favorite funny writers include Rachel Gibson, Katie MacAlister, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Janet Evanovich. Who are your favorites? Read them again and pay attention how they make you laugh. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Happy Writing! ♥
Maria Ferrer doesn’t think she writes funny so she is often found rereading her favorite funny authors and watching her favorite comedy shows. Her favorite motto: Live, Love, Laugh…Write.