Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Humor is an Arrow in Your Writerly Quiver

I did a post a while back on how using humor is a great way to 'get away with stuff'.  But the video below - which had me laughing until I cried, as well as squirming in my seat - got me thinking about another use for humor:

Humor builds bridges.  If, like me, you're writing for a young audience, or your books are addressing difficult topics, don't underestimate how much value humor can add.  When people are laughing they rarely stop to judge.  And if they aren't judging, you've already got a foot in the door to their hearts.

I wouldn't suggest using humor to marginalize important issues, but used as a tool, it can break down barriers and get people thinking.  You can take the sting out of scary, or the fidgets out of fear.

Or you can just have a dang good time. 

Case and point:

Let the humor be organic and understated, but use it just like you'd use a plot point or a character arc: intentionally.

Your Turn: Can you name a book that used humor to break down walls or bring the reader on board with something, or someone that was objectionable?


  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian made me laugh so hard I literally cried in parts. Otherwise, I think I would have just cried period all the way through. The main character's life is extremely difficult. He uses humor as a way to deal with his problems.

  2. lol

    super funny :-) GREAT link

    Good point hiding in there as well

    thanks for sharing