On writing humor

Every once in a while I try to write a funny short story.  I often fail.

Humor can be tricky and difficult, because not everyone has the same sense of humor.  Writing a story that I find funny but maybe someone else doesn’t is annoying, but I can take that. 

(I think my humor sometimes tends toward the Steven Wright school of humor.  As in, “Did you really just say that? But that’s…?  You didn’t mean that did you?  Oh, you were joking…”  Ironic, since I myself am gullible enough to believe anything for five minutes.)

So, when those stories fail to be humorous, I don’t mind so much.

The problem I have is when I try to write a funny story and it turns serious.  For example, I wanted to write a story about a woman who reads one of those erotica titles and then tries to follow it to the letter.  (You know, “let me pour this hot wax on your chest…” and instead of her husband finding it exciting he jumps out of bed and starts hopping around the room.)

Well, what I ended up with was a slightly funny but also slightly sad story about the dynamics between a husband and wife.  (And now I have this story and nowhere to submit it.  It’s not literary.  It’s not erotica. It’s not humor.  It’s just life.)

That’s also why the karmic dog poop story fell apart.  (Other than the premise…)  Instead of being a light-hearted story, it turned into a story about a girl feeling inadequate because that’s her only superpower and her best friend can teleport himself to the tops of tall buildings.

The following has nothing to do with what I just wrote other than it’s funny and I feel I owe you something funny to make up for my random need to discuss this topic:

The Onion with 4 Copy Editors Killed In Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence

And, because I will probably never find a good place to share this one:

Fifty Shades of Grey the most ditched book at hotels

(Maybe because they tried to act out one of the scenes in that book…More likely because of sheer number of copies sold and the fact that it’s not a book you immediately want to re-read.)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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1 Response to On writing humor

  1. Dave Higgins says:

    Sounds like an interesting read.

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