Saturday, April 18, 2020

Humor in Writing

How easy or difficult do you find including humor in your writing and/or have you ever incorporated a true-life humorous event in your own life or the life of someone you know in a book you were writing?Great topic. The answer is I find it very difficult to use humor in my writing. I write romantic suspense. I’m more into the plotting and darker aspects than humor. So, I looked up the definition of humor. It’s a comic quality causing amusement. I don’t write humor that makes you laugh out loud or chuckle, but maybe a tiny bit of amusement. I looked for a few examples.

In my present WIP, Death Southern Style, which I’m editing, here’s a couple of my “amusing” comments.

I wanted to talk about school and pick your brains.”
“Not sure there’s much there to pick but go ahead.” Laura grinned

“Would you like another cup of coffee?”
“No, I’m fine, thanks. If I drink any more, it’s going to start spouting        out of my ears.

In Hunted I used the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. as a setting. I have my hero kidnap the heroine and smuggle her across the Canadian/US border. Here’s a short blurb which uses my type of humor.   
She had no idea who the good guys or the bad guys were, but if she escaped, at least Matt would be safe. That was all that mattered.
“That won’t happen.”
“What?” She turned to meet his twinkling blue eyes.
“You ain’t goin’ anywhere, but with me.” A big smile spread across his face.
She couldn’t believe he’d read her mind.
“Because of how your mind works darlin’, I need to tie you up here in the truck while Matt and I head inside. Do you still take your coffee black?”
He remembered.
“Yeah, but you’re not seriously going to tie me up?”
“Watch me.”
“But, Matt…”
“I’ve explained to Matt that you don’t want to come to the ranch with us, so I may have to do some serious stuff to make sure we keep you with us.” He grinned down at her. “And he’s just fine with it.”
He pulled a piece of rope out from under the seat.
“What if I promised not to try to get away?”
“I don’t think I’d believe you. You’re so concerned about your son; you might just lie to me. Sorry, Magpie. You might be in the middle of nowhere and have no idea if one of these truckers could be the killer, but your first concern is for your son. I believe you’d do anything to save him and not worry about what happens to yourself.”
She bit her lower lip. He was right, but how could she convince him not to tie her up?
“No way, I’m afraid. Can I get you something to eat—breakfast sandwich, fries?”
“No thanks. I’m fine,” she snapped her stomach rumbling loudly.
Cody chuckled and picked up her good wrist with one hand and proceeded to wrap the rope around it. Careful not to bang her arm, he wrapped the other hand and tied both loosely to the bottom of the seat.
“Come on, Cody, you can’t just tie me up and leave me here.”
“It won’t be for long and it’s nice and cool in the truck. You’ll be just fine.” He winked at her. “Tell you what, since we won’t be gone very long, I won’t tie your feet together.”
“Gee, thanks.”
As he opened the door for Matt, he turned back. “I don’t want you to start screaming about being kidnapped or worse.”
He pulled out a white handkerchief.
“Cody, no, I promise I won’t scream, honest. It won’t help me escape and it will only call attention to us.”
He paused. “Good point. Okay, I’ll trust you on this, but you better behave. You don’t want to break promises in front of your son.”
She stuck out her tongue at him.

So, if you’re looking for humor in writing, maybe try some of these other authors.

Check them all out.


  1. Sometimes the best humor is in dialog. Keep up the good work.

  2. Humor amid frustration in an unusual situation. Drama, yes, mixed with bits of humor. I enjoyed reading it.

    1. Thanks for dropping by and reading my post, Rhobin.

  3. I enjoyed reading your excerpt, but I really feel for her waiting in the truck with no breakfast. It is about two hours from my supper time -).

    1. He did bring food back for her, as well as coffee. Thanks, Margaret.

  4. I guess I do put some humor into my books, after all. But it's like your excerpt--situational, and not as funny if you don't know the context for the scene. Great post. Made me think about humor and its use in books.

  5. Thanks, Fiona. Everyone's post has made me think more about humor, especially these days.

  6. Beverly,
    I found your humorous dialogue perfect for romantic suspense. I enjoyed reading your excerpts.

  7. One of the best ways, so I've been told, to add humour into writing is in dialogue - and you've done a great job of it.

    1. Thanks, Victoria. That's an interesting point. I'll remember that.Thanks for posting.