1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Humor

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by colorthemap, Nov 3, 2011.

    Basically I find I can't write anything without putting in twangs of humor. I wonder if it gets in the way of my main plot line. Is humor a bad thing?

    Note: I'm not claiming my humor is "funny" it is just present. My style perhaps.
     
  2. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    1: Humor is in the eye of the beholder.

    2: Funny is always more enjoyable.

    3: 2 may not always be true.

    If you're writing is funny, then it's funny. Unless the humor is inappropriate to the situation then you should be fine. I know children always prefer their books to be at least a little funny.
    I guess it depends what type of book you're writing, though, what type of book your writing may be determined by how funny you are.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no one can answer that question without seeing what it is you wrote, ctm... it might work well, or it might totally bomb... and it can work in one piece and ruin another... the proof is in the reading, my friend...
     
  4. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, so I just have to do it right?

    I'll look for an example of correct humor.
     
  5. Jabby J
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    Jabby J Member

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    I tend to have the opposite problem, I can't write anything funny to save my life. It's not that I'm not funny, it's just that writing comedy is unbelievably hard for me... we should compare notes, maybe we'll learn a thing or two from each other.
     
  6. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    It depends on what "mood" you are going for. I'll use the "mystery/crime" genre since that is my frame of reference when approaching this issue. If it's something like Law and Order or CSI where the mood is very serious, humor is still okay but you can't be over the top with it. I know in some cases those shows have built in "comic relief" characters... like the awkward lab tech or the talkative borderline annoying detective. And I don't know if you are aware of this but CSI is really bad about using a pun right before the first commercial break. Usually you can get away with that sort of thing and still be a serious show. On the other end of the spectrum you have shows like Psych where they go out of their way to not take themselves seriously. If you have ever seen the show, just the pure crime/mystery plots are good enough to be on par with other shows. They aren't just relying on humor, but like I said... it's all about setting the mood. Now, I know this is a writing forum instead of a "TV" forum but it's the same in books.

    Now unless you are writing a "comedy" book, it probably doesn't really matter how funny your jokes are. I think the only way you can really fail is if you go completely over the top with a joke and it doesn't work. But if you just say a few subtle funny things here and there... sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't... but you don't really care if it doesn't work because it's not going to take anything away from the overall story.

    I remember reading a book, and there was a character that was a cop but he had a band on the side and he thought he was the shit... but he the other characters didn't. And he took himself really seriously, tried to get people around the office to go to his shows, and maybe while him and his partner are on patrol he'll try to play his band's CD in the car. Now, some people might've laughed at that when they read it, some people might not have... but even if they don't you are still setting the mood of the story and every now and then you'll probably get the reader to smile or chuckle to themselves.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not so much 'right' as 'well'!... it's not a matter of being 'correct'... just 'effective'... and 'appropriate' in re context...
     

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