Monday, June 10, 2013

How to infuse humor into your writing

I love funny books.

I love to laugh, I love to giggle, I love to snicker as I'm reading. For me, it's what helps me relate to a story the most. Because life is funny. Even when you are in the worst season of your life, God still always has a way of putting fun into your circumstances - even if it's in the form of another person's story.

And that, friends, is why I love to write humor as well. It's so nice sometimes when life is so heavy to sit down with a light-hearted book and forget your troubles for a little bit.

So. How do you add funny scenes to your book?

I like to do these three things:

1. LISTEN to other people. When someone is telling you a funny story, listen to the way they tell it. Listen to the inflections, the timing, the order they put their words into. You can learn so much about writing by just listening to people. Find your funniest friend and take them out to coffee and just let them go for it with their stories.

2. PRACTICE your timing in your writing. Write a funny story down - something that happened to you or a friend. Now, hand it around. Do people laugh? Do people smile? Figure out the timing in your words. Writing is just like speaking - there is an ebb and flow to your words.

3. STAY away from exclamation points. As a little kid, you learn the best way to make a funny point or to show emotion is to use an exclamation point. After years of being over-used, most editors nowadays are chopping them all. Learn how to convey emotions through the words instead of through the punctuation. It's okay to use them every so often, just not after every funny comment.

And if worse comes to worse, just find a two year-old to hang out with for a while. My son keeps me rolling with his comments. ;)

Do you like to read books that make you laugh? Or are you more of a drama person?


  1. Good points! I am writing a story which involves both drama and everyday struggle so it would be nice to have some light-hearted humor involved.

    -Leah Kathryn

  2. I'll read books with drama in them, but I don't really like them. I prefer books that make me laugh. Especially doing the school year when I need a mental break from my school work.

    I like chick lit as well as Christian fiction. Which is why I love your books because you combined Faith with humor.

  3. I love to laugh when I'm reading and I love to make people laugh with my writing. This probably explains why Miss Match is my favorite book. Laurie is hilarious with her everyday observations. I truly believe that God has a sense of humor and I bet it makes Him smile when we laugh, too. :)

  4. I love light, funny books - they are my escape. :) Ironically, I think my story was less of a light read than I intended....ha! But (hopefully) it's not too heavy either.