11.32: The Element of Humor
“Talking about humor is the least funny thing you can do.” —Howard Tayler
You have been warned! and with that out of the way…
What is the driving force that gets readers to turn pages in a book that is primarily a work of humor? More importantly, how do we as writers get that driver into our books? We cover this, and provide some starting points for writers seeking to improve their humor writing, along with a bunch of neat techniques, and (as apparent from the liner notes) a long example for deconstruction.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Jeff Cools, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Liner Notes: here are the lyrics we cited from “Love is Strange” (Galavant). We’ve added superscript numbers from the Rule of Three exercise.
¹Love is strange,
And sometimes kind of gross¹
It’s embarrassingly gassy²
And it leaves its dirty underwear
In piles around the place³
²Love is rude, it has a sort of smell¹
And it thinks that you don’t notice²
And it blurts out things
That make you want to smack its stupid face³
³And it’s awkward and confusing¹
It annoys you half to death²
Then it grins that dopey grin
And you can’t catch your breath³
The full song is available here, for $1.29 (link provided out of courtesy to the original artists whose work we deconstructed for educational purposes).
Homework: Get a funny book, and highlight or underline appearances of the rule of three, and comic drops.
Thing of the week: Death by Cliché, by Robert J. Defendi.
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