So you can read my books

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Sometimes you just have to laugh or go insane, right?

We writers know that from our gauntlet of rejections.  

So why do we forget to include it in our novels?
Many authors foolishly think of humor in writing 
to be limited to Slapstick.  
They are wrong.

Why did Joss Say That?

1.) Your Characters Become Relatable

Over 90% of readers think they possess a great sense of humor.

They may be wrong, but weaving humor into your characters will draw your reader to her or him.

2.)  Humor Relieves Tension

Sometimes events get overpowering in novels.  

Humor gives a vent to tension and allows the reader to take in a breath.

From Casablanca to Die Hard to any Marvel movie you will find this done.

As the poor hunter being mauled by a cougar called out to his companion loathe to shoot lest he hit his friend --

"Shoot!  One of us has got to get relief!"

3.) Uncomfortable Subjects become tolerable

Humor is often the only vehicle able to address touchy topics in a non-threatening way. 

Think Gran Torino and racism. 

4.) Warms Your Reader to Your Character  

People with a sense of humor are better liked --

and this comes in handy when one of your characters is a bit prickly in other ways.

5.) Helps Make Your Book a Page Turner 

Humor also requires us to slow down and pay attention. 

Studies show that changes in brain waves in response to punch lines are similar 

to those when we notice a rare, intriguing event that captures our attention. 

Humor actually encourages readers to read closely, 

and that makes the reading experience more immersive.

6.) Aids in the Flow of Your Novel

Humorous remarks or incidents tend to happen near the end of a chapter or long scene. 

They provide a rhythm and let the reader know it’s time for the next scene.

7.) Humor Helps To Make Your Characters Multi-dimensional

People joke all the time --

and sometimes the more tense a situation is the more a person might joke ...

just to relieve the emotional strain.

If you want your characters to seem more real-to-life, humor is one way to go.

8.) Humor is A Great Brush to Paint the Personality

Not everyone's sense of humor is the same.  

The jock laughs at different things than the geek.

In fact, what one person laughs at may tell your reader more about him 

than three paragraphs of description!

"Hey, Honey, what would you say to a nice walk?"

"Oh, Tom, that would be so nice!"

"Great.  Would bring me some beer and cigarettes on your way back?"

Hope I at least gave you a smile.  :-)


  1. I wish I were able to communicate humor in my writing. Of course, I struggle with it in real life. I loved reading this post on how adding humor is helpful in writing though. It was interesting. :)

    1. Humor is much harder to include in our writing than drama -- I guess that comes from drama being part of each hour to most of us and things which make us laugh come so seldom.

      Thanks for visiting, Mandy! :-)

  2. You're so right, Roland. And I love the way you integrate the humor in your stories.

    1. You made my day with that compliment! Thanks. :-)

  3. Humor does balance the tension. yeah, most people only think they are funny.
    The new Guardians 2 trailer rocks.

    1. Doesn't it though? My kitten, Midnight, loves Rocket!

  4. I was happy to read this post because of the readers who have mentioned enjoying the humor in my writing. I definitely keep that up.

    1. Humor is so hard to do so my Stetson's off to you for doing it right!

  5. Get your own beer, Hubs! Seriously, though, you make an excellent point--especially in stories dealing with oppressively heavy subject matter.

    1. Yes, Rhonda! Hubs probably needs to work off that beer belly anyway, right?

  6. You always give me a nice warm smile, Roland.

    I really enjoy putting humor in my writing. But I'm afraid that no matter how much I have laughed, I hsave still gone crazy.

    1. Thanks, Helena!

      The best first sentence to a novel that I ever read was: He was born with the gift of laughter and knowledge that the world was mad.

      We're not crazy, Helena. The world is!

  7. I love humor in the stories I read, no need to convince me. But as a writer, I know how hard it is to write humor. I try but I more often succeed at irony than clear humor; smiles, not laughter.

    1. Quips are easier to write than belly laughs and that is for sure! :-)

  8. Very insightful! As Olga said (above), it's fun to read but hard to write.

  9. While I can write silly things on my blog (which hopefully are humorous in some way), I find it hard to write a serious piece that used humor sparingly to break the tension etc.

    1. We all have our own styles. Humor just seems a nice way to go for me. :-)

  10. Well, this post is a relief because I always have humour in my writing, even when it's an extremely dark book, and I've often worried that it's not appropriate. But I can't help myself--my characters are funny (usually on the sarcastic, dry-wit side of the spectrum).

    When I hear my bf laugh while he's reading my work, that's the greatest compliment. It's not easy to make someone laugh out loud.