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How To Write Humour Into Your Story

Everybody enjoys a good giggle, right? Maybe you are wondering how to inject a bit of humour into a story you are working on. Well, I write humorous tales that are light-hearted and would like to share some of my own tips on writing humour.

Deciding to use humour can feel risky. What if someone gets offended? Humour can be a great way to hook readers and keep them coming back for more laughs. So, if you decide to use humour it’s important to remember not everyone will get your humour, and that’s OK.

Here are my tips.

  • Use the everyday as inspiration. How many funny or ridiculous things can happen in your day-to-day life. Gaping hole in your pants exposing your granny knickers? Clothes on inside out? Falling flat on your face in front of your crush? The ideas are endless. Not only will the reader get a giggle, but it also makes the character more relatable

  • Create a ridiculous, but lovable character to bring some comic relief. In my book titled ‘Making March’, Marie, the mother of Kate’s best friend is a complete and utter trollop who embarrasses her daughter at every turn. Here’s an excerpt;

I could see Heather mouthing to me, ‘Oh, for Christ’s sake, turn around’. I turned around and the image I saw will be burned into my retinas for evermore. There was Marie, in all her daring glory. Absolutely nobody knew where to look. She was sporting a white lacy bra with two holes allowing her nipples to poke out, and french knickers caressing her sixty-seven-year-old bum. Stockings and suspenders adorned her long legs, and hot pink high heels were strapped to her feet.

I took a long sip, or should I say gulp of my drink, as I once again scanned my surroundings. What was this exactly? A lingerie party? A strip joint? A swingers party? You would be forgiven for thinking it was any of the above.

There were no models with the host, no mannequins. Marie was the model. Does this woman have no shame?

  • Use a cliché with a funny twist. For example: They lived happily ever after, that was until she ran away with the next door neighbour

  • Consider using a bit of dark humour. A great example of this can be found in Jodi Picoult’s ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, which we all know explores serious themes around having a second child in case you need an organ donor for your gravely sick older child. The humour is used well. It reads;

On my license, it says I’m an organ donor. . . I wonder what poor asshole would get stuck with whatever it is in me that passes for a heart.

  • Develop your own brand of humour. Use what makes you laugh

  • Try not to over-do the humour. Just a dash of humour can go a long way

  • Using more descriptive words can make a sentence sound funnier for example; instead of saying, Sarah stared at his bum, you might say, Sarah’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets as she ogled his firm buns

  • Let the reader know it is OK to laugh by having your character laugh at themselves. Here’s another excerpt from ‘Making March’ ;

I suppose I should introduce myself. My parents gave me a pretty standard Christian name. Kate. My surname? Cutta. Just as well I have never suffered from a debilitating stutter. I should have known when I thrust my love upon one Mr Matt Bollsoff, there was going to be trouble. I had always been adamant that I would keep my name along with his. So, yes, you guessed it, I then become Mrs Kate Cutta-Bollsoff. That sounds about as classy as a beer swigging bogan stumbling down the red carpet at The Logies.

Well, there you have it. I hope I have provided some inspiration to include some humour in your story. Give it a go. After all, the world needs more laughter.

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