Why should you include humor?
- Well, for one thing, it makes the characters likeable.
- Another is comic relief. I remember thinking as my family was watching The Two Towers film about how dark it was. If it hadn't been for Gimli, it would have been an exhausting experience.
- It's a great way to sneak in an emotional experience.
- Like every emotional response, humor must be earned.
- Incongruity - something out of place or inappropriate to the situation
- The unexpected - misdirection or surprise (Jack Sparrow--the pirate we never saw coming--is a prime example)
- Familiarity - the reader can relate to what is said or done. This is something stand up comics use a lot.
When I was young, there was a joke we used to love to tell.
Question: What's bigger than Winnie's Pooh?
Answer: Gomer's PyleI know. This seriously dates me. Many you won't get that joke at all, unless you've ever seen the old reruns of the TV show Gomer Pyle, which was a spin off of the old Andy Griffith Show.
So, play off your strengths and don't try something you're not good at. Don't force it.
Following is a sample of incongruity, where classical pianist Victor Borgia does the unexpected.
Do you have much humor in your writing? What's one of your more favorite funny scenes in a book?