Saturday, December 1, 2012

Writing Funny

I like to inject a fair amount of humor into my work. I don't write a lot of slapstick or ROTFLMAO stuff, but I hope my readers are giggling frequently. Lately, due to some personal circumstances, I've had a hard time writing at all, let alone writing funny.

I needed a way to combat my writing inertia and get me and my characters out of their gloom. So I invented a writing exercise. At least, I don't know of anyone else who has done this before. Oh, except maybe Second City and other improvisational acting troops.

So here's what I do when the funny is missing.
I put my characters in ridiculous situations and see what happens. Like an audience calling out ideas to an improv troop, I don't spend a lot of time thinking of circumstances. I work with any idea that pops into my head and go for it. I'm not looking to use what I write in my novel, I'm just trying to make myself laugh -- at my characters or with my characters.

My MC has tripped into a ring at a three ring circus and found himself face to face with a lion. He and his love interest witnessed a nun boost some cash from the poor box and followed her around town as she made some purchases. His entire group of friends spent the night in one hotel room -- oh, wait, some of that may end up in the novel.

The point of this exercise is to relax and be silly. No one has to see it but me. Unless, like Julie said in her last post, I save it for some added value down the road.


  1. Judy, Thanks for the great tips on bringing joy and humor back into your work. When you have been picking apart the same manuscript for what seems like an eternity, it's refreshing to take your characters on a little field trip. It wakes you up, and them as well!

  2. Sharon:
    A field trip is a great analogy. Now it's back to school and ready to work!

  3. Love your fun tips for loosening up and writing something FUNNY! Just the sort of writing exercise I love.

  4. This sounds like a fun exercise. I'll have to give it a try.

  5. This would be a good way to loosen up your thought process. It could
    also expand your characters?