Saturday, May 22, 2010

Channeling Your Inner Smartass - Comedy in a Story


What makes a good comedic scene in a story?

This question has been plaguing me for some time. I don’t typically consider myself to be funny or comical, however ask those who know me and I’m a riot. It’s because I’m a smartass. I have a very quick wit and am queen of one-line zingers at just about any given time. But do I personally consider that comedy? No not really. Apparently others do.

I can’t say any one thing that makes something funny. I don’t prefer one style of comedy over another, however in most things I do not like corny or stupid humor. A lot of people think Will Ferrell is hilarious, I however do not. The only movie of his that I enjoyed was Step Brothers, which while it’s full of stupid humor, I happened to love it. I’m the oxymoron in almost all things so that’s not entirely strange. However I’m more a fan of slapstick humor, or visual humor, someone running into something etc.

So the problem becomes, when you don’t have a movie at your expense, a TV program, or some form of visual aid to help with facial expressions for delivery, how do you write a good comedic scene in a story that the reader will relate to or even sit there and laugh at while reading?

I’ve read a lot of things that I’ve found humorous, however nothing stands out more than dialogue. Two characters firing zingers back and forth at one another in witty banter. However, I do not feel that I am good at that. I’m decent when it comes to bitchy banter, but is it funny? To me it is, but might not be to an average Joe Schmo reader.

My boyfriend David, while I love him, our comedic tastes are VERY different. I’m talking like Jekyll and Hyde different. He will sit and dissolve into giggles over things that I class as typical guy humor, where I’m just sitting there shaking my head and rolling my eyes. Yet the things that I find hilarious, he is doing the same back at me.

So my question becomes, what scene in a book or story you’ve read, stands out as being the funniest? And as a writer, do you struggle with writing comedic scenes?

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