Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bringing the Funny-How to Add Humor to Novels

This week I stopped by Fangtastic Books to discuss adding humor when you're writing. Check out the entire promo stop and leave a comment for a chance to enter my giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and an autographed copy of my novel. Details of the contest are here and the entry form can be found on my Facebook page.

If you read my blurb for First Visions, you probably wouldn’t think there’s much room for humor in the novel. The basic plot is a psychic is enlisted to help on a case to find an abducted child. Not exactly knee slapping material. However, I think adding some levity to a novel can really diffuse the tension and prevent a book from becoming overly melodramatic.

Here are a few tips:

1) Create a character that says basically everything you wish you could. The character of Kate in First Visions is an uncensored version of me. My sense of humor leans towards the snarky and sarcastic side, but since I actually want to keep my friends, I never say half the things I’m thinking.

2) Find inspiration in the people around you. Although I try not to base too many of my characters off of people I know (you know how many friends swear they are the bitchy girlfriend in First Visions?), I do add their quirks for some laughs in my stories.

3) Decide on the type of humor you want to add into your novel. Some people may find toilet humor the highest level of hilarity while others find comedy in parody and satire. Kate is sarcastic which may not endear her to all readers, but I found it worked best for the story and the character. Kate’s best friend has a boyfriend Gage who is more a fan of low brow humor since it worked with his characterization.

4) Make the situations you place the characters in funny. I think my strength lies in funny dialogue, but situational humor can also be great for a story. One instance in my book occurs when the detective tries to have a moment with Kate and takes her to feed the ducks. The geese end up charging her for the bag of bread and she has to run for cover. Other examples of situational humor in stories I’ve scene is mistaken identity (art professor thinks the handsome cop is at her studio for the nude model audition) or physical comedy (the princess makes her grand entrance into the ball by falling flat on her face).

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