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12

1) Pick any one item and take it to an extreme. "Organizing is good." Okay, can I alphabetize my spices? (bad example. I actually do that.) Uh, can I sort my vegetable drawer by size and then by color? How about putting the living room furniture in rainbow order? Where do I file the cat, under P for Pet, F for Felix domesticus, or O for Ollie (his ...


9

In addition to the points made in SF.'s answer, one can also express the act indirectly or express the effects of the wit without showing the wit itself. Here are some examples: Joe whispered something to Susan and her face contorted in an attempt to suppress her laughter. - "Then the waiter brought three glasses of water," Helen continued. ...


8

Read Pterry (Terry Pratchett), he's got lots. One I like is how he states the difference between erotic and pornographic: it's like using a feather instead of the whole chicken.


8

This is a misconception. Interesting plots are hard to write. Some people think "Oh, I put in some funny jokes to hide that I totally suck at the real story." Therefore you find humorous books out there, which story is boring. But that has nothing to do with the humor in the book, it has to do with lazy writers. The way to an interesting plot is paved with ...


7

I'm afraid then you're quite stuck. Note as the author you have significant advantages: no fear of L'esprit de l'escalier - you can always come back and add/modify given reply, or slowly engineer given joke. You create the situation for situational humor. Moreover, you can set up the victims of the wit to say or do things that will give the witty guy all ...


7

Off the cuff I would've said Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Dave Barry. Though to be honest, I have to say I truly believe that true humour is more a talent than a skill - it is possible to learn the rudiments, but to excel at it you have to be born with and to it. And if you listen to the sage advice of those in the industry and succeeding at it, you ...


7

Write a plot with tension. As an example, Christopher Moore writes incredibly funny fantasy novels (demons, angels, vampires) with real plots, rounded characters, and genuine tension. So figure out a good story to tell first, and then figure out how to make it funny.


7

Jokes have been extensivle researched by folklorists, linguists, ethnologists etc. If you need to write about humor in China, go read a book or journal article on humor in China. Really, writers need to learn to research like scientists and journalists. Don't think like a writer ("How can I make this up?") but like a researcher ("Where can I find this ...


5

It really depends on your sense of humor, whether you have one, and who your audience is. If you're aiming your writing at adults, Terry Pratchet is a great read. If you're aiming at children (around 8) then Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton might help. I also recommend you read joke books. But DO NOT use the jokes in your stories, just read them for the ...


5

When I write jokes I'll often begin with stream-of-consciousness "brain vomit," putting every possible thought to paper. I'll mark places I think people would laugh with an asterisk. This is more organic than just trying to think of funny things. After this you can cross out everything that lacks an asterisk, and rework your sentences so that the asterisk ...


5

The only thing I can see in this brief exchange to fix is: Line 2: Eh, adrenaline's unreliable. Might only give 'im a heart attack.


5

Douglas Adams has numerous examples. "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." "[The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."


4

P.G. Wodehouse is a master of this. "Big chap with a small moustache and the sort of eye that can open an oyster at sixty paces." "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine." "His demeanour was that of a Napoleon who, suffering from toothache, sees his way to taking it out on one of his minor ...


4

You've gotten a good start with the name. Part of humor comes from confounding expectations. So you have this big snarly demon... named Bob. Maybe the damsel in distress is a guy in drag who was just trying to avoid the draft, and couldn't get out of his lie fast enough. Maybe the hero reveals he's bi, and that he's entirely cool with a male damsel. Maybe ...


3

The immediate thing to bear in mind is that the use you're describing is something very specific and unique to hypertext documents. You might as well ask "onstage I can wink at the audience, how can I do that in text?" or "I want my screenplay to be filmed with some equivalent of footnotes." You're not going to find a full equivalent, because you're adapting ...


3

The two thoughts that come to mind are ask someone of that ethnic background if it exists, and for fictional backgrounds think about how the back story affects humor. A great example is where Teal'c tells a joke on Stargate SG-1. Tea'lc coming from a very alien background appears to have no sense of humor prior to his attempt to tell his joke, and only he ...


3

The first issue you need to deal with is where you say "the character amuses other characters, not the reader". As Lauren Ipsum points out, what you're basically saying here is that you're going to tell the reader the character's amusing, rather than show it. A character is believable because the reader finds him believable, not because the other characters ...


3

Best way to learn humor is to read things that you find funny. Eventually, humor will organically bubble up in your own writing. This is the best way, as fored humor usually comes off bad. Comedy, as a genre, is hard to get right. Drama is easy. Anyway, the book that had the biggest impact on humor in my writing is this: The Signet Book of American ...


3

Harry Harrison with the Stainless Steel Rat series and Robert Asprin with Myth Adventures are two others that would be good. It would also probably be worth watching Charlie Chaplin movies, the studied simplicity of his comedy is brilliant.


3

Here I roughly translate and sum up some advices from Daniele Luttazzi, an italian satirist (original text here) who learned from the best, like Lenny Bruce and Josh Carlin. (Sorry for any mistake, please edit). The punchline must be a suprise with respect to the preamble. If the surprise is weak the humor will be weak. If the surprise is awkward the ...


3

I think the most important thing is to figure out what kind of humor are YOU good at. Lauren Ipsum's and Cody Hess's suggestions are how THEY get people to laugh. Gmoore's suggestion is a good one, figure out what makes you laugh, what you think is funny, and then try to duplicate that with your own ideas. Look at the way you create humor when interacting ...


3

Humor is notoriously difficult to translate. To take an extreme case, I saw an interview once with an American woman who had written a humor book. The publisher decided to produce a British edition, but they found that the book was filled with American cultural references and words that are different between the two countries, and so they added footnotes in ...


3

This question made me think of the Goblins webcomic that has a very cartoony/silly approach to D&D-style fantasy, while still allowing for some interesting story-telling and character development. Having said that, I feel that in order to find humor in the fantastical I would say finding how far you want to take that humor would be a big part of it. ...


3

One method I have seen was where a character was constantly making smart remarks (many of which were very funny), In scenes where the author wanted a more serious tone, the jokes told were not as funny, as if the character was trying to break the tension, and not doing a very good job. Another method is to have a running joke that is more sad or touching at ...


2

Douglas Adams was a master at it: surprising the reader (and the characters); taking clich├ęs and pushing them to the extreme; using anthropomorphism (objects that seems to act on their own); using nonsense, absurdity, craziness. I have read the only trilogy in five volumes (H2G2) a long time ago and just re-read it in French (my native tongue) and I was ...


2

Terry Pratchett is the writer who springs to my mind (a product of the type of book I read I guess), and it always seems like his humor comes from: The characters having at least one defining "crazy" attribute, and they stay true to that. The situation being a combination of at least two separate very different but equally absurd story threads. And ...


2

If I had to name only one source, it would be M. Helitzer - Comedy Writing Secrets - the best book on comedy writing I've ever read. It explains why certain things are funny, describes techniques for brainstorming and writing jokes, and it's also a pretty funny book. Books My favourite humorists are P.G. Wodehouse (Jeeves or Castle Blandings novels and ...


2

In addition to what others have said: It's easy enough to buy a joke book or search the Internet for jokes. Then pick a few that you can fit into your story. I read a book about how to be funny years ago -- not saying that I got A's in that class! -- where the writer said that an important trick is to be able to adapt jokes on the fly. You can often take a ...


2

Do you enjoy the story you are writing? If your readers like the same story as you then they will most likely like the same humour as you do. If the readers don't like the joke then they may imagine the character as someone with a bad sense of humour. Is having a character with a bad sense of humour really going to destroy the rest of the story? Most quips ...


2

One easy way to go about portioning humor is picking a comical character (or two) and peppering the story with their wit, ineptitude, craziness, grave pessimism, or whichever other approach that makes them humorous that you like. In D&D settings that character would traditionally be some kind of bard, a person whose job was to be funny - making all the ...



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