I love to laugh. And I love to make others laugh, often at the risk of embarrassing myself, which I do quite often in the sake of humor. If the cause behind my flaming red cheeks brings on a hearty guffaw from a friend, then, hey, it was worth it, right?
But what about incorporating humor into our writing? Here's what Gloria Kempton, has to say about it in her book, "Dialogue:
"Since humor seems to emerge out of the way certain writers view their worlds, if you're not one of them, you'll probably never write comedic fiction, creating the kind of story that is funny all the way through. But to throw in a funny line of dialogue once in a while goes a long way in holding your reader's attention. Humor hooks readers. They know if a character says something funny once, he most likely will again, and so they're watching for that, waiting for you to surprise them and make them laugh again."
So, to recap: Humor is surprise. I also like the sentence 'humor hooks readers' but then you all know what a sucker I am for a good hook. And, oops, now I have stepped away from the thrust of this blog, so let's step back onto the beaten path of humor shall we?
Okay. That's better. Surprise. Humor is surprise. Let's practice utilizing this theory with a fun little exercise that Ms. Kempton devised and I adjusted a teeny bit to suit our purpose here:
Just For Fun
Your female character is walking late at night on a downtown street of a big city. Suddenly she is accosted by three teenage boys who grab her purse. She yells something at them as they run away. What does she yell? Write one line of dialogue for one (or more) of the types of character below. Try to be as original as you can. The goal is to surprise your reader.
*a mom from the suburbs
*an undercover cop
*a drag queen
Okay, I'll go first in the comments section. Thanks for playing along. (And thanks for letting me turn your cheeks red in the sake of making others chuckle, Alice. See, surprise! Bet none of you were expecting to see a member's name on the list -- ha!)