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Humor:

 1 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 3:11:13 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
I have come to the realization that I am an atrociously unfunny person (at least when I'm trying to be funny). Lately, I've got the feeling that certain parts of my book are way too serious, and I don't know how to solve this problem. I don't know how to create good jokes and how to put them in the story.

What do I do, now?
"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
 2 Mr AHR, Fri, 30th Sep '11 3:15:07 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Recopying from another post I made...

I don't know. It gets really bad when stuff you think is funny no one else does. Or when half the people think you're hilarious, and the other half just wonders why you're talking like that.

Point is, comedy is frikking odd.

But, there are joke theories to study and learn.

For example, you already have "witty" dialogue, which many people find to be a form of comedy (Buffy the vampire slayer).

A form of comedy I HATE but some love (like Cakman), is "awkward" humor (Curb your Enthusiasm, Tim and Eric). This is humor that comes from awkwardness of situations, and often has no real punchline, or when it does, it's a slow creep, it's not a stated BAM. k. Similar to quirky humor, but fundamentally different. Quirky humor is usually something that is running, One that I use a lot, (although I apparently suck at it) is "quirky" humor (One Piece, One Piece, ONE PIECE!). You know this humor. A guy has a mushroom on his head. Why? Never commented on in story. IT JUST IS.

You have slapstick (The Simpsons) which is usually considered LCD, but when done well, can be quite amusing.

Absurdist humor, which is your typical Monty Python flic-

CAKMAN, SIGNIFICANT OTHER TO AHR HERE.

I would disagree in the notion just stated, and say that, in fact, Tim and Eric would also count as absurdist humor.

But to answer you straight, when it comes to being funny, getting people to laugh is not difficult at all. The easy way to do it is to do it through small things- easy to make puns or wordplay. Take the topic at hand, figure out a way to hamfist a pun into it.

The thing you want to avoid the most is two things:

"Random" humor, which is frequently attempted, rarely succeed. Saying a word or a phrase that you find to be funny to simply shout out at an unoppertune time will never be funny. It doesn't matter how hilarious you find the word "muffin" to be; if you shout that out, it's not going to garner a laugh.

The other thing would be "references." A personal experience with this: When I was in high school, in health class, I sat in front of a guy who would do a Glen Quagmire impression and say "Giggity"every time the teacher said something related to sex. If he is dead tomorrow, it won't be soon enough. Even if you find a show or book or comedien funny, if you reference them, make sure it is done in the purely referiential sense- you simply saying "Yeah, it's like that old George Carlin bit..."

Which, now that I mention it, is another way to improve your sense of humor. Listen to some stand-up comedey. Specifically, look at George Carlin, Jim Gaffigan, for some dirtyish stuff, Mitch Hedberg, Steven Wright for some intermediete stuff, and Brian Regan or maybe even Bill Cosby for clean material. Listen to some of their acts- Try looking up Carlin's "You're All Diseased"album or Bill Cosby's "Revenge" album. Listen to them, and think about what makes you laugh, and WHY you're laughing. What was it that the person did that caused you to respond in that way?

Once you have this down, it's a matter of merely coming up with witty observations at the appropriate times. It sounds a bit obtuse, but that's really the best advice I can give you. But seriously- look those guys up. Try listening to them.

-k, which is slightly different then than quirky humor, in that it might have a punchline, it just doesn't always make complete sense.

Finally, Voice Humor, which is something that only works in media with vocals. Lines that are made funny because of its delivery. Easy to write, but hard to pull off, since you need someone with talent.

Anywho, that's some basic easy to follow methods of humor, have fun!
slice of lice
2 actual paths you could do starting from this point in time:

1) Embrace the seriousness of your work and focus on that.

2) Start learning how to be funnier. Usually this happens by looking at other funny stuff and then trying to make your own (which would probably be a new work)

edited 30th Sep '11 3:16:33 PM by OuthouseInferno

Forget the tropes until after you're done.
 4 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 3:51:08 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
[up][up] Thanks.

I started to think about the moments I tried to be funny in the story and didn't fail. None of them are too funny, but I guess they're not bad. They're mostly sarcasm and a few acronyms. The few characters intended to be funnier tend to speak a lot less than the others.
"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
 5 chihuahua 0, Fri, 30th Sep '11 3:55:46 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Sadly, I really need to enforce my sense of humor more with Manifestation Files beyond snarks. It shows more in the pilot episode of Ashwood Landing, but only because my character in it is humorous in nature.

 6 Mr AHR, Fri, 30th Sep '11 3:57:07 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
That's rather subjective. Keet characters can be wicked annoying.
 7 Ronka 87, Fri, 30th Sep '11 4:15:46 PM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
Analyzing humour is like dissecting a frog—you have to cut it open, poke around in its guts, try to ignore the smell of formaldehyde, accidentally slice into something you weren't supposed to... man, I hated biology. Wait, we were talking about humour. Right, analyzing humour's like dissecting a frog— no one's interested, and the frog dies of it.*

It's impossible to tell anyone how to be funny, because humour is a personal thing. If you find something funny, it's guaranteed someone else will, but the majority may not.

Like with most writing, you should know your audience and know what kind of humour they'll like and understand. A children's author won't include XKCD math jokes, and the middle-aged crowd probably won't get the humour in a D&D gag.

The wider your market is, the more general your humour has to be. That's why things like sex and work are common topics for comedians—most everybody can relate to those. Slapstick, toilet humour, and assorted other "LCD" jokes also appeal widely, for the same reason— everybody poops, as the story goes. *

Think about who you're writing for and what kind of humour would work in your story. Also reflect on what kind of comedy you like and see if you can imitate it. Finally, mix up different kinds of comedy— insert puns, gags, ridiculous situations, silly walks, whatever. You can always edit it out if it doesn't work, and it'll get the funny juices flowing.

edited 30th Sep '11 4:17:14 PM by Ronka87

Thanks for the all fish!
 8 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 4:20:46 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
[up] Trying to imitate Youtube Poops in writing may not be possible...
"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
 9 Ronka 87, Fri, 30th Sep '11 4:22:45 PM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
What do you like about You Tube Poops, though? What separates a good one from a bad one? And if it's really untranslatable (which I seriously doubt), is there any other kind of comedy you like?
Thanks for the all fish!
 10 Leradny, Fri, 30th Sep '11 5:22:21 PM from Alameda, CA
Humor is a tone of writing. You can write a scene involving murder to be hilarious without cracking a single joke. You just need to pick the right words.

For example, if you wanted to write a dramatic murder scene, you would use "gun"/"sledgehammer"/"ax", but if you wanted to make it hilarious you might choose "toilet" instead.

edited 30th Sep '11 5:22:42 PM by Leradny

 11 Merlo, Fri, 30th Sep '11 5:26:53 PM from the masochist chamber
*hrrrrrk*
I tend to find character reactions to bad/painful/embarrassing situations funny. Casual Danger Dialogue, understated/deadpan reactions, carrying on like a stoic, a reaction that completely misses the point, Oh Crap coming from a badass, stuff like that.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
 12 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:14:27 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
[up][up][up] This is one that I like (it's in portuguese):

Of course, I like normal jokes as much as everyone. I'm just not very good at coming up with them tongue

edited 30th Sep '11 6:19:24 PM by Teraus

"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
Rainbows hurt.
As you can see from all the responses, comedy is a very very very subjective thing. On the surface, comedy/humor is taking something everyone can relate to and turning it inside out so everyone can see it for what it actually is. Going absurd is kinda like that, too.

But what you must remember is that everyone doesn't find the same things funny, so you can stick a couple of jokes/witty dialogue in your story but it still might not come off as funny to readers.

It's like throwing darts with your eyes closed. If you're good, you can hit the target. If you're not good, you might miss and hit a waitress in the face and make her drop chowder on one of the patrons. If you're not good, you still might hit the target by luck though.

What I'm saying is, go for your jokes but they're gonna be hit or miss especially if they feel tacked on to a very serious story.

edited 30th Sep '11 6:16:44 PM by PancakeMckennz

(屮≖益≖)屮 彡 ┻━┻ F*ck yo' table; Go read my book! —> http://goo.gl/mtXkm
 14 nrjxll, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:23:48 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Humor is subjective, and the only generalization that can be made about it is that it's impossible to generalize about it.

To take just one example from earlier in the thread, whatever Ronka 87 says, my feelings towards "LCD humor" (especially toilet humor) are so hostile as to defy the English language - mere "hatred" or "loathing" is insufficient to convey the depths of my antipathy. So it's fairly safe to say that anyone who relies on that kind of humor in their works is not going to get many chuckles from me. In contrast, I know from personal experience that the kind of dry humor I favor in real life is not considerably terribly funny by many of those around me.

Frankly, the best advice is simply to write what you, personally, consider funny. As long as you don't make certain mistakes that can be considered objectively non-humorous, you should be able to find some people who enjoy your humor.

 15 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:25:45 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
[up] I agree with you about LCD humor. What is LCD?

edited 30th Sep '11 6:26:11 PM by Teraus

"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
 16 nrjxll, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:27:28 PM Relationship Status: Not war
 17 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:28:38 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
I see. Yes, I definitely agree.

edited 30th Sep '11 6:28:54 PM by Teraus

"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
It's easy, mmkay?
I love Lowest Common Denominator Humor purely to spite people who hate it. I only dislike it when it's out of place or when it's overused (note: using it at all is not the same as overusing it). LCD humor only really irritates me when it's in a kiddy setting, because then you wind up with an awkward situation where more LCD humor will make your work inappropriate for the target audience and less LCD humor will make the little you have left seem out of place.
At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
 19 Teraus, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:35:05 PM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
I just don't find it funny. Honestly.
"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
 20 Merlo, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:46:48 PM from the masochist chamber
*hrrrrrk*
What does LCD humor comprise of, specifically? Sex And toilet references for their own sake?
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
 21 nrjxll, Fri, 30th Sep '11 6:51:39 PM Relationship Status: Not war
More or less. And I wasn't trying to start a debate about it in particular - I was just making a point on how it's impossible to generalize about what people find funny, and Ronka 87's post that said "everyone likes LCD humor" was a good example of that.

 22 Mr AHR, Fri, 30th Sep '11 7:03:01 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I hate LCD humor. Even slapstick requires skill to do right (See, the simpsons for a fairly good example of it).
 23 Ronka 87, Fri, 30th Sep '11 7:12:41 PM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
It's an incredibly vague grouping that doesn't actually mean a lot. Most of the time, I think it means "crass" humour— toilet humour, sex humour, redneck humour, etc. Especially if the speaker doesn't find funny.

nrjxll, I was speaking about general audiences. Lots of people don't like toilet humour, but the reason it's used so often is because it's something everyone has some experience with. It's a quality vs. quantity thing— it's not a great form of humour, but it casts a wide comedy net. Compare it to a very clever joke about, say, TV Tropes— those who get it will find it funny, but fewer people will get it. It's not just toilet humour, it's any kind of "relatable" humour— work, sex, marriage, driving in traffic, airplanes, fast food, etc.

For the record, I think toilet humour can be funny, although obviously not all the time in all circumstances. The same can be said of any kind of comedy.
Thanks for the all fish!
 24 Bobby G, Fri, 30th Sep '11 7:50:16 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
I think the best kind of humour is the kind that comes from the characters, whether you're laughing with them or at them. I especially enjoy poking fun at my characters' quirks, pretensions and hypocrisies, and I like it when other writers do the same with their characters.

I tend to prefer this when it's done fairly gently, though it can commonly be quite acerbic. Matter of taste, I guess.
It's easy, mmkay?
I like expectation-subversion humor, myself.
At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
Total posts: 37
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