It has often been said that everyone likes humor and laughter on our planet. Well maybe
not everyone, but almost every person who is normal will like humor provided someone
else makes them laugh. And you can always enjoy reading a funny article or book written
by somebody. But have you ever considered writing a funny article yourself, or maybe
even write a funny book sometime? Even if you know how to write regular articles and
books the very thought of writing something funny and showing it to others can turn your
blood cold or make your hair stand straight.
There are plenty of writers on our planet who
can write countless topics in a serious, straightforward manner. But very few know how
to add one magical component into their writing to make it more palatable and enjoyable.
And that magical component is humor. If you want your writing to be enjoyed by your
intended audience then you must add an acceptable dose of clean humor into it. It is the
lack of humor that makes most articles and books tasteless even if it contains useful stuff.
Writing about any serious topic you are familiar with is perhaps easy, but adding humor
to it is very difficult and sometimes even dangerous if you take too many liberties. Hence
you must learn some basic rules if you want to write humor and make your stuff
enjoyable. And those top secret tips are outlined below.
1. Be Bold
The first rule for anyone who want to write humor is to become bold. Contrary to
what most people think humor writers are actually very brave people. You need to
develop a thick skin, nerves of steel and become brave slowly day by day. You cannot be
funny if you are scared to poke fun at things, issues, people, etc. And you can’t be funny if
you’re afraid of embarrassing yourself or lampooning a famous personality. Verbally
anyone can be funny, but it takes guts to put the same in writing and let the public read,
and maybe the entire world see it. So humorists need a lot of courage to write and publish
something funny about an issue, person or a concept.
2. Think Outside the Box
A humorous person has no limit on what he or she can think or write about. You
must be able to think in atrocious, ridiculous, crazy, illogical and nonsense terms. Modern
management consultants call this thinking out of the box, but I call it old fashioned
creativity and humor that has existed from centuries.
3. Be Serious
What is important is that you should make your readers think what you have
written is funny. But a person who writes humor you need not look funny, act funny or
make goofy antics. You should become a person that nobody would suspect of writing
funny and witty stuff. You can be a serious type of person and yet have the ability to write
fantastic humor. This adds more spice and an aura of mystery to your personality.
4. Make Fun of Yourself
Most people think writing humor is simply about saying and writing jokes about
other people. But this is only partially true. Top humorists mainly make fun of themselves
and not about someone. The best humor is always self directed. Direct the humor towards
yourself that way you will not annoy anyone. People will laugh if you make fun of
yourself, but they may be outraged if you make fun of them. The most important thing
about writing humor is to allow your readers to laugh at you and with you, and then
optionally at themselves.
5. Don’t Be Vulgar
Unless your article is for MAD magazine or a pure humor or satire piece with no
restrictions, there are various do’s and don’ts that one should follow when writing humor.
Don’t use bad language. Don’t make fun of religion, caste, race, physical disabilities,
gender or language of anyone. Humor in these areas can start riots on the streets or even
start a war. Don’t use real names of people, friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. You will
never know how they may get offended. But no one will be offended if you focus on
6. Be Unpredictable
When writing humor surprise your readers. That is, don’t tell or announce upfront
about your funny intention. Don’t tell the reader that they will experience something
funny. Let the reader discover that for himself. Use concise, direct and uses simple words
that everyone can understand.
7. Have Good Timing
It is not funny to be always funny. There is a time to be funny and there is a time
NOT to be funny. And this is something you need to observe and learn. Something that is
extremely funny in one place may not be understood at all in another. Something that is
funny on a rowdy football stadium may sound offensive inside a religious place. And in
some situations or circumstances you should not indulge in anything funny no matter how
irresistible it is to write something hanky panky.
8. Edit Your Work
A piece of writing can never be final and fully funny in one go. Like a diamond it
needs to trimmed, improved and polished as much as possible. You need to review it in
terms of using a better sentence, a more mischievous word, rearranging the sentences,
modifying to a completely different angle or deleting something that does not seem right,
etc. After you think you have finished writing a humor piece revisit it after a few hours or
a couple of days. Suddenly you can discover new and better ways of writing the same
article that can seem vastly superior to your previous article.
9. Don’t Rush
Think wild, think crazy but at the same time be moderate so that it does not put
anyone, including yourself, in trouble. Often in your enthusiasm words and sentences can
flow like a mad river and you may write something horrible that you momentarily think is
funny or harmless. But it could be laced with trouble when reviewed carefully. So take
care to frequently pause your writing to view it from different angles and from the
reader’s perspective. Then you may need to give your writing a haircut and then continue.
10. Take Your Time
The final piece of advice is writing humor takes time. To excel in humor is a
lifetime job, and is not something that you can learn in a day or two. Don’t think you can
read a joke book and start writing funny stuff an hour later. You will have to teach
yourself how to be funny. The process is mostly by trial and error, observing other
people’s comical situations, mistakes, laughing and applying it on yourself, etc. No one
can teach you exactly how to write something funny, but the possibilities of creating
humor on anything and everything are limitless.
About the Author:
Thejendra BS is an IT manager and author of Corporate Wardrobe – Business
Humor Series. Visit http://www.thejendra.com to buy these extremely funny books
related to modern management concepts and our dry workplaces.