Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's so Funny?

MENTAL STATUS: "Happy". Going to the mall with the girlie today to get some pictures done. (And to do a little shopping)


I'm thinking about writing a short article for a newsletter. The topic?
Writing humor.

I've been thinking about this topic for awhile and really have no clear cut path to what is funny. I think I must be a comedy writer's best audience because I will most likely laugh at anything. For example: You use the word "Speedo" in a sentence and I'm going to laugh. There. I told you I laugh at stupid stuff. It's a word that just strikes me as funny. But I understand that the majority of people probably aren't as easy...

So what is funny? I don't know. But I've come up with at least two things that I enjoy when I read humor.

1) In romance--or any genre, really--I think I appreciate witty dialogue the most. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a master at that. (In my humble opinion) She can get her hero and heroine in a conversation that's so funny, you want to read it over and over to keep the laughter coming. Witty metaphors can probably get lumped into this category, as well. Nothing can get me to picture something funnier than a unique description to show me how funny the situation is in my mind.

2) I like embarrassing moments for a character. That's something I enjoy in real life as well. It's sheer hilarity. Situations where we want to crawl under a rock and die are ones we can relate to. We can picture ourselves in the moment perfectly. Nothing is as funny to me as when I see someone uncomfortable or put in an embarrassing situation. Of course, it's not funny for the person at the time who's undergoing the circumstance, but eventually they do see the humor in it. (Even if it's years later. )**cough cough**

I'm sure there's some things that I missed, but those are the things that pop into my mind when I read comedy.


When you read comedy, what strikes you as funny?

7 comments:

Chicki said...

I love it when a character is put into an uncomfortable situation. I'm totally obsessed with J.R. Ward's Black Daggerhood Brotherhood series right now. Since I'd never read a vampire novel before (or any paranormal, for the matter), I expected it to be dark and gruesome. It is in some places, but there are many double over laughing moments in her stories too. For instance, a scene when Rhage (whose nickname is Hollywood because he's so gorgeous) goes into T.G.I. Friday's to meet a particular woman he's very interested in. Every woman in the place are so overcome with his killer good looks and blatant sexuality he has to wipe their memories clean. They end up standing around looking supefied wondering why they felt so aroused! My description might not sound funny, but I could just picture it in my mind.

Diane Craver said...

I laugh at stupid stuff, too! And I do love embarrassing moments for a character - probably because I experience many on a regular basis. lol

Kristen Painter said...

Boy, this is tough. A lot of people tell me my work is laugh out loud funny, but I don't particularly set out to write comedy. I just tell the story as I see it and life is full of odd situations.

I think in order to write "funny" you have to have a sense of timing, of how to lay in a punchline effectively and how to know when to pull back. If you're not funny in real life, you're probably not going to be funny on paper.

Chelle Sandell said...

Sense of timing is important but also understanding that life is funny. Why crawl under a rock when the majority of people have those same moments!

Alice Audrey said...

I like embarrassing, but not too embarrassing. When it gets to the crawl under a rock and die point I generally put the book down.

Debora said...

For me it's the internal snark. I think I love the inner sarcasm of my characters more than anything else...

tsueversteeg said...

Okay, first off, Kristen Painter can't help but write funny. She is a hoot :) Just sayin. Secondly, I find myself NEEDING a funny storyline these days to keep my attention when I read. If you haven't read Gemma Halliday's High Heels Series, these are a MUST.