Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Since humor is always a big seller, it is good to learn a few techniques to help us write with more humor. I typically don't find myself a very funny person, as I can be a bit reserved in groups, unless I'm the one in charge. Like when I'm teaching a group of children. But even a group of four women at lunch, I'm never the one doing the entertaining.

What If Game || writing exercises | how to add humor to your story | craft tips for writers | plotting tips for authors

One way we can tap into our humorous natures is to laugh at ourselves in our everyday lives. I love to laugh and often think of something funny after it's long gone and way too late to even bring it up. Even when bad things happen, life is a little easier to manage if we can find a way to laugh about it.

In our writing

One game that has been around forever is the What If game. Once I think of a vague book idea and a character, I love to play What If.

  • What if the character gets caught in the rain?
  • What if she runs into a crocodile?
  • What if the animals in the zoo start talking to her?
  • What if she snores during the daytime?

And on and on it can go. For me personally, it's most beneficial when I have some type of end goal in mind, like an actual idea with a character and a story that needs help with the plot.

It's especially helpful and fun with a group of people playing it together, say, your own family at dinner time, for instance. I wrote a story that I think quite funny based on the effects of our dinner game one evening. Would I have been able to come up with every plot point and twist without having played the game with my family? Probably not. Even if a manuscript isn't born out of the results of a What If game, it is still beneficial to play. Especially with children. They find it wildly funny and invigorating. And I find it delightfully entertaining and refreshingly freeing.

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