Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All Joking Aside

No, don't set aside the jokes. Figure out how to make them appropriate for you writing. I can't stress this enough: humor makes a good book great. There are a few exceptions, of course, but we'll ignore those for the sake of focussing on what's awesome. And by awesome, I mean books with humor in them.

So why should humor be in your book? Well, if you listened to Episode 9 of the Beyond the Trope podcast, you'll remember that I said humor draws audiences together. Take the audience at a hilarious movie. Or the audience at a great stand-up show. As a group, they're sharing in the experience. That laughter gives them an instant emotional connection to the performance and the people around them.

For the sake of great writing, jokes turn a solitary activity like reading into a community event. When readers form an emotional connection to a book, they're more likely to get excited in ways that make them want to share the experience with other people.

In many cases, humor creates such a powerful hook that entire fandoms grow up around the book universe. And I know I go on and on about Jim Butcher and Gail Carriger, but that's because they're both awesome. But if you have any other examples, I'd love to hear them!

Giles spends more time than he should watching comedies and reading funny books. Whenever he stops to think about writing, the words from that famous song in Singin' In The Rain pop into his head: Make 'Em Laugh!

Check out his other thoughts sporadically on High Aspirations. He'll get better at blogging over there when he's figured out how to balance life again.

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