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On Writing - How To Keep Your Readers Rolling In The Aisles Every Day
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Who's kidding whom? It's hard enough for most writers to simply brush their teeth on a regular basis let alone keep their readers rolling in the aisles everyday.
No writer is funny enough to accomplish that level of humor with every written piece. Even attempting the task would make your fingers bleed every time.
It might be a worthy idea to simply learn the art of injecting a little humor into your writing on a regular basis. Humor is enjoyable to write and enjoyable to read.
Most writers simply groan at the mere thought of adding humor. Either they truly believe they were born without a "funnybone" or believe their style/subject matter to be "just too serious" for the likes of humor.
Is all the humor-rejection simply a symptom of the fear of rejection? "What if nobody laughs"?
Maybe we all should just "give it a go" and see what happens. How much is there to lose?
What follows are some tried and true ideas to consider when trying to add a bit of levity into your writing.
Be an artist. Paint a picture. It can bring a funny story to life right before your eyes.
Step outside the box and attempt to enter the brain of your reader. Paint a picture with your language.
Don't limit yourself to simply "telling" the reader, but "show" them something instead.
Haul out your old Thesaurus. Search for alternative words that evoke the senses. Use tastes, sights, and smells to your advantage. Ideas to which readers can relate with their senses often trigger sunken memories and bring them bubbling to the surface.
Compare these two sentences.
1. Those two men accomplished a great deal of work.
2. Those two human dynamos got more done than a team of 1000 Egyptian pyramid builders working overtime.
Get the idea?
Reality is Often Funnier than Fiction
Keep an eye open for things that strike you as funny in the daily news or on the internet. Your subconscious mind will often relate those funny tidbits to your material at hand. When you get used to doing it, you can be seeing humor in everything.
Once the humor pipeline is turned on, inject it into your writing. Here's 3 easy ways to do just that:
1. Go easy at first
Begin by trying to find just a single funny sentence, a single funny tagline or a single humorous analogy into your article or story. Ideas as short and simple as that can often liven up a story by bringing new life to a dull work.
2. Use "The Bookend Technique"
Start your story with a humorous analogy such as "writing a poem is like dropping a flower petal into the Grand Canyon and then waiting for the echo".
Use the body of the article to write the story by thoroughly examining all the issues.
Then finish by bookending the piece with the original analogy again, along with your conclusion.
3. Keep it Simple
Writing humor can be hard to do. And when it comes to funny material, "shorter" usually works far better than "longer". Human nature as it is, writers will find ways to avoid things that are hard to accomplish. Keeping it simple is a learned skill.
Become "Ming the Merciless" of Flash Gordon fame when it comes to simplicity. Mercilessly omit those needless words. Have a trusted friend edit you work. Even if you don't think it's too long, if your friend thinks it's too long, trust your friend.
Practicing the art of simplicity will become easier over time. The ease-of-effort will bring enjoyment along with it and soon you'll be pumping-out humor like a "you fill in the funny "word-painting" here."
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