Friday, August 20, 2010

This post is going to make you laugh.

Humor can be one of the toughest parts of writing. I mean, you're working without visuals or tone of voice, but somehow you must convey something witty without going on descriptive overload.

If you were hoping for a post that outlines exactly how to make your readers laugh... prepare yourself for disappointment. Sometimes I think I'm funny and no one else does. Sometimes people laugh really hard at things I thought were worth a tiny chuckle. Other times they laugh really hard at things that weren't meant to be funny at all. (That's when I crawl under a table.)

So what do I do to hone my admittedly amateur humor skills? I read things that make me laugh. It's grueling research, I know. But even though people can have differing senses of humor (to this day, I just don't get Napoleon Dynamite), it helps you understand what you find funny.

Alright, enough text. Time to make good on my promise -- I'm going to make you laugh.

** deep breath **


Check out Hyperbole and a Half.

That's all.

What, you need more convincing?
This hilarious blogger Allie writes posts with the funniest drawings you've ever seen.

Exhibit A, from the FNC's favorite post, This Is Why I'll Never Be an Adult:
*Disclaimer: In context, it's even funnier (I tried to help with the captions). Also, there are some *%!@# words in the post, if you don't like that stuff.
(Initial adult-like motivation.)

(Reality sets in.)
This post alone was the base of most of our FNC roadtrip jokes. Like "Pass ALL the trucks!" and "Eat ALL the snacks!" And if you follow our tweets to one another, you'll see things like "Buy ALL the food!" and "I have ALL the mojo!"

Nope, it still hasn't gotten old.

(My second-favorite Hyperbole and a Half post: Dog.)

If for some reason you are lacking in the Allie sense of humor (what is WRONG WITH YOU?!), try this cartoon (from a dating site, no less, but it's still giggle-worthy):

10 Reasons It Would Rule to Date a Unicorn
Exhibit A, Reason 1:
(Reason 10 is my favorite, though.)

So now you might be like, "But Donna, I don't HAVE PICTURES IN MY NOVEL."

Therefore, here are some blogs that often make me giggle:
Forever Young Adult
Lisa and Laura Roecker
Kiersten White
TH Mafi

And just so vlogs don't feel left out...
I'm just about addicted to John and Hank Green's Vlogbrothers channel on YouTube.

And Karsten's superbly entertaining also.

One final, semi-advice-y point about humor in your writing: Something you'll see that's common among all the funny links I've included in this post is that the humor is based on voice. It's not going to be funny if it's not unique to you, so don't stress so much about humor and just work on finding your writing voice.

I hear that's really easy.

Ok people, your turn! Who do you count on to make you giggle? Links, please!


  1. Totally with you on Forever Young Adult! They always make me laugh!

    My husband (who is German) always makes me laugh. He's ALWAYS asking questions (because he's looking to be entertained) so once when we were driving around Wichita, he asked "What is Jiffy Lube?" and I died laughing. And then I read him the rest of the sign. My friends and I are always reading signs like that now: "What is Fisher & Partner?" "Law Office since 1954!"

  2. Read ALL the H&H posts!

    I love her. I seriously get tears in my eyes every time I read a new post, I laugh so hard.

    The dog one was hilarious, but I'm partial to the one where she goes for the race when she's really, really sick...

  3. Kate Beaton's Hark a Vagrant:

  4. The Second City YouTube channel is my fave. Nothing makes me laugh harder than "Sassy Gay Friend."

  5. I'm with Lisa and Laura --- Sassy Gay Friend always makes me laugh.

    So does Alex Day: --- especially Alex Reads Twilight.

    I also love Julian Smith:

    30 Second Bunnies:

    And my favorite of the moment:

  6. maggie - haha just the name "Hark a Vagrant" is funny.

    ylime - Ohhh 30 Second Bunnies is hilarious!


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