I think my writing tends to be too serious/intense or whatever, so I'm wondering how writers create humorous writing. I'm interested in writing some humorous short stories in particular.

What language features or structural techniques help make writing humorous?

Some of the techniques I've used so far include using long, overly-exaggerated and outrageous descriptions.

closed as too broad by Sora Tamashii, Galastel, Rasdashan, bruglesco, Cyn Mar 16 at 15:50

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  • 3
    It is worth noting this question is KINDA too broad as there are many things that can do this and not all techniques work for all writers, stories, or audiences. You should give us more specific constraints to work with. – Sora Tamashii Mar 16 at 12:29
  • Read humorous writing... PG Wodehouse is probably the funniest writer of the last 100 years... – ashleylee Mar 18 at 19:17

There is no single right answer for this.

Humorous writing can be accomplished in a variety of ways. For the sake of simplicity, I'm just going to list them for now, but if you want, leave a comment and I'll elaborate on them.

  • Embellishment (which is what you said you're doing)
  • Slapstick (hard to pull off in visual mediums; even harder in solely written mediums)
  • Hyperbole
  • Satire
  • Parody
  • Irony
  • Blatant Jokes
  • Witticism
  • Situational (scenarios that only work under constrained conditions)
  • Absurdity

What do you find funny? What kind of humour are you looking to create?

Trying to write a humorous short story can be very difficult. Humour is more difficult than drama, requiring a different set up and a twist. Whether humour is in music or prose, it is often the mild surprise that strikes us as humorous.

If you are looking for a dry wit to leaven an otherwise heavy story, create a character with such a turn of mind and have him observe these situations that he finds ridiculous.

If you want something that is humorous, read the works of O. Henry. They are memorable for their twists and have a gentle humour and irony to them. See how he did it and then look at examples of stories that you find funny. How did the author do it? Were you led to expect Y when X happens? Is it purely diction?

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