I’m not a funny person, or at least I don’t intend to be. I take everything too seriously, and I fell for the “gullible’s not in the dictionary” joke three times when my husband and I started dating.
How the hell could I ever write humor in my novels?
Jokes happen at my expense, not because I’m making them. Every party I go to without fail, I say something I intend very seriously that instead makes everyone laugh. I’m left saying, “But it’s true!” and baffled as to why everyone is laughing.
Humor has always been a mystery to me, until last year I heard this quote. I heard it from a female author, whom I’m sorry I can’t remember, but Google informs me it’s originally from George Saunders:
Humor is what happens when we’re told the truth
quicker and more directly than we expect.
And now I understand why everyone is laughing at me all the time. I choose to see myself as a truth teller. I surprise people with the truth. It makes them laugh.
Now to harness that in my writing!
I write really dark stuff. Like scare you, thriller, stalker type stuff. So humor doesn’t play a big part in my books. But a laugh at the right moment is always a fabulous release in tension. Given a moment of levity, the dark stuff to follow feels even darker.
I’m still not very good at doing it intentionally. The jokes mostly happen by accident. So I’ll be paying very close attention to what our experts have to say at our chat on Sunday. (Especially our co-host Kimberly Bell, because honestly she writes the most gut busting awkward humor ever.)
The funny stuff that does happen in my writing, the moments that make me LOL, sometimes, I’m the only one who thinks they’re funny. Often times, there are spots in my books where people tell me they’re hysterical, and I’m like, “Well, it was supposed to be honest but okay…” Once again, truth telling.
I did have a big mega success the other day though. One of the jokes that I’ve thought was the funniest ever in my new book (I still laugh every time I reread it), my husband was reading the book. He copy-pasted and texted me the joke because he thought it was so funny. Score!
I guess he’s a keeper.
And here’s the main thing, humor is romantic. It builds relationships between characters, shows growth and engages the reader in the feels. We can’t afford not to have it in our romance novels, even in small doses, no matter how mysterious the truth of it may seem.
Robin Lovett’s dark romance series releases through SMP Swerve, starting with STRANGER, A DARK STALKER ROMANCE on June 13th. She is a co-host of #RWChat, where you can check out her weekly posts. She writes a monthly romance writing column on DIY MFA and can be happily reached on Twitter @LovettRomance, so don’t be shy! Discussion welcome She is represented by Rachel Brooks of the L. Perkins agency.
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