Okay, so I have noticed that my one character, Liam, laughs a lot in my novel, due to something he thought was hilarious or to ease his mind. But he laughs too damn much.

Would you guys like a character like that or is it too much for readers to handle in a "serious" book?

  • 1
    I would disagree it's a duplicate. This question is more about having an out of step character in a "serious" book.
    – Alexander
    Sep 18, 2017 at 22:54
  • I have always been annoyed by characters that are weird in comparison to the other characters. Best example to come to mind is Wayne's fascination with hats and trading objects in Alloy of Law. Wayne annoyed the hell out of me, I eventually got past it and felt he had some redeeming qualities. And then he started annoying me again, for other reasons. SO, Your character would annoy me. Having said that, I would get over it at some point and ignore the fact that Liam laughed too much.
    – SFWriter
    Sep 18, 2017 at 23:21
  • Also, do you have other characters react to his laughing all the time? This could be a way to tell the reader 'I know this is annoying."
    – SFWriter
    Sep 18, 2017 at 23:23
  • yes, his bestfriend basically tells him to f*ck off all the time (nicely though) and makes him more mature due to their age difference. Sep 19, 2017 at 0:55

1 Answer 1


All serious books, and deep, dark books have a comedy relief line or 2 thrown in throughout the story. Even Lord of the Rings has a comedy relief line thrown in here and there after a tense scene. That's the key though... AFTER a heavy scene to help lighten the reader. If you constantly throw dark, heavy things at readers, only a masochist would keep reading.

So that leads us to the next problem... how much is too much? If you feel it's too much then it probably is. Every story has a character that is the "comedy" or tension cutter. But it needs to be used appropriately. Too much will get annoying yes, but also used in the wrong place/time can also be off putting.

If you have a scene where people are arguing or someone just died, then follow it up with something funny (and appropriately follows the scene don't just throw in a random comedy line for the sake of it). Often you can see this done when someone dies and people are very sad about it, that it is usually followed by, a:

Hey... remember when bob did this? OMG RIGHT? he was being such a dork... ahahaha, yea and that one time he did that? oh man we never let him live that down.

keep it in taste to what is going on, it is okay to have comedy... but if you want to write a serious book, the comedy needs to be well placed.

  • I have two comic relief characters. The main character, and this one. Sep 18, 2017 at 21:58
  • One specific chapter that I'm thinking about is the one when he almost dies in a fire (spoilers, spoilers everywhere), But _he cracks jokes all the way up to when he gets forever traumatized _ Sep 18, 2017 at 22:00
  • @Aspen Rand - if your main character is a comic relief character, your should stop worrying about your second character's jokes ruining the book. Well, just not make him another Jar-Jar Binks, and you should be good.
    – Alexander
    Sep 19, 2017 at 16:58
  • @Alexander I don't think it's a matter of having comedy but rather someone who laughs nonstop and what I assume to also be in possibly situations where it's not suppose to be funny, or takes away from the seriousness.
    – ggiaquin16
    Sep 19, 2017 at 16:59
  • @AspenRand, you could always have him laugh at everything as part of his character flaw. Have the supporting characters give him a hard time about it like punch him in the arm or kick him in the shin to get him to stop kind of thing. Then eventually have some precipice where he laughs at something that... is very serious and the other MC's can't stand for it anymore and they get in his face, sock him in the jaw, what ever it is you want to do but have them get angry at him so he realizes that not everything is fun and games.
    – ggiaquin16
    Sep 19, 2017 at 17:19

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