I agreed to do a blog – no, I volunteered to write about Wit & Humor in, well, writing. I agree to do these things, ‘cause at the time it seems a really great idea, then as the day nears that it’s due, I start to ask myself – yet again – why I do this to myself? What if I flop badly? What if not only the readers but also the owner of the blog, hates it? In a nutshell, I…have no idea. ROTFL
I write Sci-fi/futuristic romance, and have also recently written a horror/satire short story. I’m really proud of that one, I had so much fun screwing with protocol, political correctness, and zombies! I’m currently working on my first contemporary romance.
I believe that wit and humor can exist in almost any genre – urban fantasy, biographies, romance, horror, thrillers – you name it. The secret is…HOW does one incorporate wit and humor into the written word?
I can’t tell you that. I know, I just burst your bubble. Humor is a very touchy subject. What one reader (and the author, let’s be honest) laughs like a hyena at, the other reader will roll his/her eyes and tell all and sundry what utter garbage they just read.
I can tell you how I write it. Having a bit of toilet humor and a liking for sarcasm (sad but true, people, just ask my long-suffering mother), I like to inject some of that into my books. Some titles I deliberately set out to have a lot of humor (read my Love’s titles. Please. I need the money). My heroines say the most outrageous things to try and get out of situations. I basically let rip and have them say all those things I would love to say to someone in that situation. My heroes are usually left flummoxed. Always a good thing with humorous romances.
Of course, not all my books are witty (some would say none of them are, but I’m not going to interview them, okay?), such as my Soul and most of my Heart books (read these titles. Please. I need to keep my cats in the comfort to which they’ve become accustomed), but I think they still need a touch of humor, be it a little dark, or just something to give a smile. Really, can a romance be a romance without a touch of lightness here and there?
So what I am saying, people, is that what I write is how I tend to speak myself. Most times. Okay, I wouldn’t say some of what I write to a church minister, because even I draw the line somewhere, but when I write a humor piece, I set out with the right attitude, a lightness of mind, and I put myself into the heroine’s shoes. I write what I think is funny. If it’s clumsy, I’ll take it out.
The dialogue rolls from my mind, to my tongue, to the page. Sometimes my heroine will say things I’d LOVE to say but am not game enough, other times I think, “she is so me!” Scarily, I’ve had a friend who says she can see me in the heroines.
Basically, I believe you write how you think, there is no other way. Some readers will love it (same sense of humor), others will hate it (not-same sense of humour), and others will be ‘ho-hum’ (I can’t figure them out myself).
So is there a secret? Can anyone go out and write a gut-busting, witty book? I don’t believe you can. I don’t believe there’s a secret formula. It has to come from within yourself, what YOU think is funny, how YOU believe your witty heroine would answer someone or act, how YOU would answer it. Individual readers will see your book as funny or not. That’s the down and dirty truth.
So all I can say is…write how you would respond. You might find it funny, someone else might not. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, the ball rolls, my cat destroys toilet paper… it just is. (I hope no one is taking note of grammar here).
I truly believe that we all write as differently as we perceive the story and the world around us.
So who is my number one favourite humorous & witty author? Janet Evanovich – her Stephanie Plum books rule!
Angela Verdenius lives in Australia, where she is ruled by her cats, adores reading, and thinks a perfect day is writing and drinking Diet Coke, followed by reading or a good horror movie.
Angela has written 18 novels and 2 novellas, self-published a short horror story, and her books have won many reviewers’ awards as well as having been on the Fictionwise best-seller list. Soul of a Guardian won the Golden Rose Award, and she was a finalist in the Australian Romance Reader’s Awards.
Learn more about Angela at: http://www.angelaverdenius.com/
|Available now at Wings ePress|