Almost true experience. Be specific. Seuss characters in his book The Cat in the Hat , find a better word than thing or its relative something. The Rule of Three is a popular humor writing technique based on the setup and punchline formula comedians use to create jokes. You start with two straight items the setup and add a third item that is a comedic twist the punchline. The effect of the twist is a surprise. We use three items because three is the smallest, and most memorable, number that forms a pattern.
You find series of three everywhere:. With this technique, people are expecting a certain pattern. You throw them off track when you break the pattern.
How to Add Humor to Your Novel, Even If Your Novel Isn't Funny
You can use the Rule of Three anywhere:. The key to using this trick is to break the pattern with an absurd ending to your list. You can extend the rule of three to include sentences as your list items. Start with two straight sentences and make sure the last sentence has an element of surprise. Paychecks stopped being deposited. Savings accounts started dwindling. Ramen noodle consumption skyrocketed. Exaggeration is one of the most effective ways to add humor.
e-book How to Write Funny: Add Humor to Every Kind of Writing
But to be funny, the exaggeration needs to be extreme. You need to create a mismatch between reality and the exaggerated image your words create. Dave Barry, Miami Herald newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner for humor writing, is the master of using humorous exaggeration. So when you use exaggeration, stretch it as far as it can go to make it absurd.
If you succeed, your readers will enjoy the humor. Here are some other examples I found online:. You can twist a cliche to add humor by adding a surprise ending. Here are some examples from well known personalities:. Want to make your reader smile? Comedians use a callback to make a clever association at the end of their set with a joke made earlier in the set.
You can use a callback in your writing by referring to a notable point or topic you wrote earlier. I kickstarted my health journey. I raised money for Ronald McDonald Charities. I find it funny because the author is exaggerating how difficult the marathon was by repeating that line. Instead, you reintroduce the reader to a funny point you made earlier in your writing. The callback is an effective trick to end a piece of writing. Dilbert, Dave Fox, Dave Barry. Can you still write funny? Try one or more of these seven simple tricks to lighten up your writing.
Follow the guidelines to avoid offending anyone. Humor gets attention. Humor makes people laugh and feel good.
7 Simple Tricks to Add Humor to Your Writing (without offending anyone)
Which ones do you use? Which ones will you try? Need some laughter in your life?
Become a member. Sign in. They use it when they 1 set up a joke, 2 take it in a direction you expect, and 3 change course the punchline. Bringing in the unexpected keeps your readers engaged and interested.
She was shapely. She was a giraffe. One way to add humor to your writing is to come up with a list of metaphors for something and then choose the most ridiculous one. For help on this, see our article on figurative language. Nonfiction writers use humor with even the most serious subjects to help lighten the mood and keep readers reading.
Types of Humor
Humorous stories or plays on words work well in nonfiction. Unless the subject of your book is inherently funny, humor is best used as side, or parenthetical, information. Many nonfiction books include funny anecdotes or related cartoons in the sidebars or footnotes.
Give them humorous-sounding names, apply the rule of three to descriptions, and let your characters use humorous comparisons lest your readers think you are simply bad at metaphors. For most novels, humor should be used strategically and sparingly. Humor is one of the best ways to connect with your readers. She blogs about books for children and young adults at www.
So allow me to say again, Marley was as dead as a door nail. My husband insists on watching the Muppet Christmas Carol every holiday season. Angela Eschler and her firm were strongly recommended to me. I was determined to produce the best book possible. The results of their editing far exceeded my expectations and. I have secured my agent and publisher. What is most gratifying is that. Fred Sievert, Author, speaker, media guest GodRevealed.
Book coach, editor, and beyond, Angela will provide you with a rock-star team of experts—and true friends. Oh, yeah—and the therapy is complementary! If you want to get your book done, you better ask Eschler Editing to stalk you! I owe much of this to Eschler Editing! I recommend these guys to everyone. Authors often ask me for help, but I tell them they're much better off working with Eschler Editing—and they always are. I can say without reservation that Angela and team are head and shoulders above the rest.