Monday, August 8, 2011
5 Reasons to Use Humour in Writing
1. To connect with the reader. We all respond to humour. We connect with humour. Because of that humour is universal. It’s essential for the writer to make that connection with the reader.
1. To lighten the mood. I recently read a dirge of a book that I struggled to get through because it was so intense and depressing throughout. Yes, we need conflict in our stories, but when the conflict becomes overpowering, we can tire our readers and make them pull away. The book would have benefitted from a sprinkling of humour to lighten the mood.
2. To create contrast. Likewise, a high tension scene could be intensified by a humorous scene before it because of the contrast you’ve created.
3. Character likeability. If you want your readers to like your main characters, then give them a sense of humour. A fantastic example of this would be Hannibal Lector. The readers find themselves drawn to this psychopathic killer against their better judgement, because he has a wicked sense of humour.
4. Character dislikeability. Likewise, if we don’t want our readers to like a character then we strip them of a sense of humour.
5. For success. People remember good humour. They will want more of it and so they will seek more of that writer’s work. They will be more likely to tell others about your work as well. Many believe that Shakespeare’s plays were so successful because of the humour in them—even the tragic plays.
Do you feel comfortable with writing humour into your stories, or do you tend to shy away from it? What do you think is most difficult about writing humour?