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Questions tagged [humor]

You make me laugh! :) Questions about using humor in writing. What's appropriate, how to gauge what's appropriate for the audience, balancing humor and drama, and how to make something funny. Use [comedy] for questions specifically about the genre of comedy.

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29 votes
10 answers
7k views

Mixing humour with horror in fiction

I got into trouble last year for submitting an assignment (Masters in Creative Writing) that included a story that sprinkled elements of humour (think Despicable Me) into a gritty and frankly ...
robertcday's user avatar
  • 7,753
28 votes
6 answers
877 views

How much humour is effective in technical documentation?

It's well known that live presenters are often advised to add a dose of humour in order to engage the audience better. However, I very rarely see humour in written technical documentation; this ...
DVK's user avatar
  • 578
26 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there a name for the technique in songs/poems, where the rhyming pattern primes the listener for a certain line, which never comes?

Usually used for comedic purposes, for example in Shrek: Welcome to Duloc, such a perfect town Here we have some rules, let us lay them down Don't make waves, stay in line and we'll ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 363
17 votes
7 answers
7k views

How can I write humor as character trait?

I have a character that likes to make humor, puns and jokes. Humor should work here as a character trait; something really peculiar to this particular char. He says a lot of puns because he find ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
16 votes
8 answers
2k views

What are the best authors to read if you want to get better at humor and comedy in writing?

I’ve read humor like Three Men in a Boat and PG Woodhouse, but those comes nowhere close to folks like Dave Barry or Rory Blyth. What are some sources, blogs, books, articles, authors, etc. that you ...
thousandtyone's user avatar
14 votes
11 answers
4k views

Tips for humor writing

Are there any techniques you can use while brainstorming to find humor to include in an article?
Gary's user avatar
  • 151
14 votes
7 answers
7k views

How do you make a character witty?

How can a character be made to appear witty, or funny? That is, the character amuses other characters, not the reader, who should ideally be impressed with the characters wit. The only way that I can ...
naught101's user avatar
  • 365
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Sense of humor in your sci-fi stories [closed]

What kind of humor do you find appropriate for your sci-fi stories? I realize that the question might seem so broad, but I think the target group for most sci-fi stories has a sense of humor that ...
Javor's user avatar
  • 131
12 votes
6 answers
3k views

Does having too many humorous scenes make the readers unable to take the plot seriously?

The story I'm writing has its epicness and drama, but I also want it to be funny, with jokes, puns, etc., made by a character (mostly) or the narrator himself; funny situations, and so on. But I ...
Yuuza's user avatar
  • 4,619
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

Best humorous exaggerated comparisons

I love funny comparisons in newspaper articles or other texts. I am talking about things like "exciting like a winter morning" (except funny - I don't know any good English ones). What are the ...
Franz's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes
7 answers
610 views

How to handle characters being funny in a dire situation without ruining the mood

There's one thing I always find impressive and moving when I see it in accounts of historical events or depicted well in fiction: gallows humour, when a person who is facing likely or certain death ...
Lostinfrance's user avatar
  • 2,951
7 votes
5 answers
313 views

Variation in humor among ethnic/cultural groups

Back when Bill Clinton was President of the United States, Al Franken (formerly a Saturday Night Live comedian, now a US Senator) gave him lessons in comedy. He needed these lessons because the press ...
Seth Gordon's user avatar
  • 1,733
6 votes
5 answers
650 views

Humor in a fantasy setting

I'm creating a story based on the D&D Forgotten Realms campaign. Considering the main adversary in this case is a balor demon named Bob, an ally of the adventurers is a gold dragon named Joe, etc. ...
h313's user avatar
  • 271
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

How do you prevent whiplash when transitioning between comedy and tragedy?

I constantly see reviews of people criticizing how it feels like "whiplash" when going from something like a death scene to someone cracking a joke, and I agree, but I don't know why I agree. I just ...
WizardXZD's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
379 views

How much humour can you afford to have before losing a serious atmosphere?

Background When I first tried writing fantasy - a long long time ago - I wrote a book that was meant to be really serious and intense. However, I wrote it in a way where the characters joked around, ...
Featherball's user avatar
  • 4,429
6 votes
3 answers
333 views

Book/Novel About aliens fearing humans - perspective delivery

I read a very interesting novel or book about aliens accidentally discovering humans and finding out how dangerous they are, where the galaxy got scared of humans and their potential to wipe out all ...
Sean Fletcher's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to do reference jokes right?

There is a problem with reference jokes in general, and I just couldn't figure out a solution to them. Here's a demonstration: "Watch your step, there could be even more of these." "More?" █...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
424 views

Using "and/or" in a manuscript

I've used "and/or" in my writings in the past, but not for fiction manuscripts. Is it acceptable to use this? It's internal narration in a character's head and intended to have a bit of morbid humor ...
Nicole's user avatar
  • 989
5 votes
3 answers
331 views

How do I contrast the thought processes of different characters in one scene?

I have two characters, Alice and Bob. They have just met and each is trying to deceive the other. But their thought processes and the nature of their deceptions are very different from one another, ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 1,372
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

Writing witty/funny characters with deadpan humor

I've been working on writing a game, and I was wondering what were some good pointers for writing witty and funny characters while using deadpan humor? (Something like GLaDOS from the portal series). ...
Dwad's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
3 answers
337 views

How to make innocent jokes

Morbid and 9/11 jokes can easily get tiring, especially if you use them too much. So, you will need a light-hearted filler humor, something that relaxes. The goals: innocent: offends nobody, and ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
286 views

Creating simple jokes

Sometimes in the process of writing dialogue, I wish to insert a joke in the exchange. I could copy an existing joke, or I could come up with one. The latter option seems preferable if I could tie the ...
NofP's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
3 answers
244 views

What revisions for this draft would be more readable and/or more humorous?

Notes: My audience knows that adrenaline and epinephrine are synonyms. I'm new! I'm sorry if I abuse the site by posting this! Please critique ruthlessly. I would send by Facebook message to a ...
user1372's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
163 views

How do I write responsible satire and parody when modern headlines already feel satirical and fake news is rampant?

To give a VERY recent example: one of the main events the past 2 days was a viral tweet from Trinidadian rap artist Nicki Minaj where she described a friend of her cousin blaming a COVID vaccine for ...
Nzall's user avatar
  • 715
5 votes
1 answer
59 views

Examples & humor in educational podcast

I know Technical Writing is not supposed to have our personalities in it, but when I taught, I sought out educational videos/resources that had a bit of personality in them. Example: The Oatmeal's ...
April  Salutes Monica C.'s user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
768 views

Balancing character levity in a serious narrative

I am looking for examples of authors who manage to have sarcastic/funny characters exist in a very serious, end of the world type of scenario. The issue I am trying to resolve is when I write ...
James's user avatar
  • 456
3 votes
4 answers
496 views

Is it possible to write a serious story without any humour?

I'm planning out and (will hopefully be writing) a trilogy takes that takes itself pretty seriously and very dark while having a distinct absence of comedy. The reason is behind this choice that I ...
Nuada Airgetlám's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
18k views

How can I make a person sound sick?

How do you distort words into sounding sick, as in with the cold? I want it to be a really comical scene, but I'm not sure how to write it. Do I replace some letters with others or remove certain ...
Lostone's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
2 answers
160 views

How it's better to format links to Internet in a text written on paper?

Links are useful to add additional information or second meaning or special flavour to certain words. This is especially useful for informal texts. Example: [Some programs](wiki://Metasploit_Project) ...
Vi0's user avatar
  • 133
2 votes
3 answers
279 views

Is this easter egg too obvious?

In my book series (more on that here), I am planning on including a bunch of Easter eggs and subtle references to things as an added treat for the reader. However, I just came up with one that I think ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
566 views

"Stealing" jokes

In one of my stories, I have a character who is a bit of a smart ass, always cracking jokes at the expense of others and sometimes even himself. I often get inspired by things I find on the internet ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
326 views

How to do political humor

Most political humor I see on the internet is usually directed towards persons, and the jokes are relatively easy. However, it's pretty much useless, and temporary, besides, poking at the personality ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
261 views

Modernized dialogue in fantasy - stylistically untrue or clever genre subversion?

I find myself using words like "kiddo", "bullshit" and "badass" in the more comedic side of dialogue/thoughts in my fantasy novel. At first it was simply me not paying attention, and not caring as I ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
2 votes
1 answer
280 views

Comic Cruelty - Examples

In the movie Inglourious Basterds, there are many scenes employing what I can only describe as "comic cruelty". Acts of barbarity that yet somehow inspire glee and revelry in the audience. Anyone who'...
Seph's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
124 views

How do you use humor without detracting from the seriousness of a story?

How do you use humor without detracting from the seriousness of a story? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgAK-4kPTb8 Parasite uses a lot of comedic relief throughout the movie without ultimately ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
2 votes
1 answer
425 views

Trying to regain writing skills I lost after a writing hiatus [closed]

Edit: I'm confused what I need to ask so this question can be taken off hold. I'm looking for help on writing descriptive language. (it no longer flows freely in my mind like it did in the past.) ...
BugFolk's user avatar
  • 932
2 votes
0 answers
26 views

Is there any room in technical-writing for levity [duplicate]

When doing technical writing it is generally advised to be straight to the point. And I understand that. After all if I am reading instructions on how to put together the desk I just bought, or how to ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 4,461
2 votes
0 answers
108 views

Humor in Writing [closed]

I'll be honest here and say that I'm a pretty funny guy. I tend to make my friends and family laugh from time to time but I've got a problem on my hands: I have no humor in my writing. I'm writing a ...
The Writer of The Basket's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
258 views

Is it ok to make fun of gender stereotypes?

Very simple (albeit a bit tacky) example: Him: We're not that different from other couples, are we? Her: Hm... maybe. I mean, you make me sandwiches, for one. Him: Yeah, because I can do them ...
user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
556 views

In-universe swear, curses, similies and sayings, how to make them less cringeworthy

Hold Your Hippogriffs: A (more often than not) cringeworthy version of a saying (though can be invented on the spot), that is prone to cause Fatal Death in most readers. But it sounds fun, who wouldn'...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
114 views

How can you add light, quirky, humor or sarcasm into dialog?

Looking back at my book, I'm realizing how flat the dialog is. I'm not known for being funny and I don't consider myself naturally funny, so this is hard for me. How can I make the characters talk to ...
AnnWriter19's user avatar
  • 1,643
1 vote
2 answers
73 views

Any tips on how to gain a following online in order to publish books?

I am new to the popular writing, publishing world. My background is a teacher and a writer in the academic sense. That no longer is my main interest. Evidently, I need to gain a following. My subjects ...
Strawbridge K's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Rules for use of quotation marks when paraphrasing quotes, song lyrics etc., for a humorus effect in a cartoon caption.

When a person/writer paraphrases published quotations or song lyrics, changing a few words of the original work for an attempt at a humorus effect purpose, should the writer paraphrasing put ...
surayabay's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
289 views

How do I write a story that is purposely meta?

I want to write a story where the author is constantly addressed and made fun of. The author, is a separate person. The author is trying to write a meta story, however she makes it so meta, that it ...
lesbianauthor's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
850 views

How to write out words for wordplay

Our church had to stay baroque and afloat not b-roke and awash. baroque and broke wordplay here: not sure how to write out bahroke meaning broke
peterd's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
2 answers
226 views

Effective jokes in a character's speech

I'm in a problem. With a Pennywise-esque character, we should get some of his humor, and he was a funny (and a somewhat mentally disabled) bastard. Sadly, my humor relies on video editing, and the ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
119 views

How to use pun in this story [closed]

I wrote: A funny thing happened to me recently, which I would like to share with you. First, let me say the private English school I'm studying at is called SPEAK UP. A couple of days ago, ...
Ahmad's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is dark humor exactly?

I heard that people who appreciate dark humor are more intelligent on average. I also read the following: Willinger and her team said their findings suggested black humour processing is a “...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
0 votes
7 answers
43k views

seeking a humorous example of long winded paragraph one sentence long [closed]

Back in the day, good writing meant it was a goal to make sentences short. As I have grown older this rule has served me well, especially as it relates to technical writing. I am looking for a ...
Jim Tyvand's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
80 views

ways to express joy, or basic humor in a situation (for a story)

not exactly sure how to solve this, and haven't used the app before. Just started story writing. So ya, I don't know what else to say
Zunera Atiq's user avatar