1. falconer
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    falconer New Member

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    Comedy in writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by falconer, Apr 8, 2014.

    Hello, new member here, so I apologize if this is in the wrong place. I'm currently writing a comedy spy thriller, and I need some advice. I have about 50 pages written and I'm maybe close to halfway through. My story has mainly focused on the espionage and thriller aspects, but I'm trying to add more humor to it. Any advice for adding more humor to the story?
     
  2. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    There's a large variety of humor genres that can liven up a spy thriller. Sarcasm and quick witted characters can definitely bring some humor in
     
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  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Witty dialogue is always welcome. I have lots of humor in my work, which are never comedies. My stuff is generally dark, but dry wit can usually nurture a chuckle.
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I would really have to look at it before I could come up with any particular jokes.
    But there are some themes you could exploit:
    • Incompetent leader both foreign and domestic
    • Strangely useless spy gadgets
    • Convoluted spy communication phrases with a stranger who happens to be a schizophrenic hobo
    • Honey Pot scenario with a mark of the same or opposite sex (add cross dressing for extra humor)
    • Spies discussing weapon specifications delving into insane jargon, until it becomes clear that neither know what they are talking about and are clearly making up words.
    • radio chatter that is actually disguised phone sex.
    • A spy laptop that is running on windows 98, or the browser had more toolbars then screen space.
    • Spy shot in the chest only to happen to be carrying a bullet proof condom in his breast pocket.
    • gigantic musclebound spy who is terrified of fieldwork.
    • stupid/effeminate/convoluted spy names (why was that not the first ting I typed?)
    That's all I got for now, give me another couple of minutes.
    EDIT: added four more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Budgetary problems, where the spy has to stay in cheaper accommodation than he/she is used to and other limitations?
     
  6. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    What kind of humor do you want in your story: parody, slapstick, satirical, black humor...?

    I always find Bergson's essay, while in no way perfect and complete, at least very inspirational: http://www.authorama.com/laughter-1.html
     
  7. falconer
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    falconer New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Now I have a better idea of what to use in my story. My story isn't a typical spy thriller (it's not mainly about spies), it focuses on a terror plot and a random guy who gets mixed up in the plot and the world of espionage. I guess the best way to describe the humor is in the misfortunes that the main character falls in and how ironic it is that he causes a lot of trouble for himself and others.
     
  8. Melusina
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    Melusina New Member

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    I recently saw Howard Jacobsen being interviewed about writing. His answer, when asked about writing comedy, is that we should not set out to write funny things but rather open our eyes to the tragi-comic nature of life and the inherent humour of spending our time in words and created worlds. I think he was saying that life is funny so just see the humour and let it come through in your writing rather than trying to be funny.
     
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  9. Slade Lucas
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    Slade Lucas Member

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    Just let the humour come naturally. If it doesn't come naturally you probably shouldn't have humour in your story.
     
  10. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Editing can introduce a lot of humor. As you read back through, you can see where a joke would be great and insert it there. If you can't think of one, don't publish it yet. :) Can't go wrong with a good pun. Or a bad one.

    One of my characters face is all stung by bees after a little third-world honey collecting. The eleven year old girl deadpans "Aww, You're one big Honey Boo Boo."
    The MC's name is Jed. His wife picks a stinger out of his eyelid and says, "I'm going to name the one that stung you here, 'Darth Bee', because it got you right in the Jed-eye."

    Adding a little stress and tension into a scene can enhance the humor but be careful. It can't feel contrived. I like having one or two joker characters who play off each other. Everybody else needs to be 'straight-men'.
     

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