Thursday, April 16, 2009

Humor Author FAQ's

Here are more answers to frequently asked questions people ask me as a humor author!

1. What’s the secret to making people laugh? Writing humor is like drawing caricatures. You take true things that happen, or annoyances that are common to most people and you enlarge or exaggerate them and make them silly. For example…In one essay, I have exaggerated my problems with garden pests into a war against bugs…and I have enlarged my daughter’s love of nature to be a crusade to save roly-poly’s. Humor is also about surprises…you have to set people up with a very serious point and then totally hit them out of thin air with something ridiculous. Irony is also a big part of making people laugh. When you take a person who thinks he is suave and cool and he's totally not...that is funny.

2. What about the characters, are they part of the humor, and are they true to life? The characters are what make the story funny and interesting. How they overcome their various ridiculous obstacles is something that puts the icing on the cake, humor-wise. The characters are sort of true, but exaggerated. I have taken true characteristics of people in my family and exaggerated them in each person to make them funny. For instance I have a mind that is always coming up with impractical new ideas to solve problems…and in the stories I blow that trait up into a character who is constantly coming up with these outrageous schemes to solve every tiny family issue.

1 comment:

Chas Hathaway said...

This is a great post!

I LOVE humor writing, and I like how you break it into simple things - such as the idea of caricatures. I'd never thought of it that way, but it's a perfect description of funny writing.

Anyway, thanks! I'd love to hear more about how to make humor writing work, so if you have any more advice on it, I'd LOVE to hear it! I'm no pro at it myself, and I want to learn how to do it.

- Chas