We love to laugh. And we love to write funnily. So when looking at this humor Venn diagram, the question is: Do we laugh at ourselves–specifically when writing?
Well, I like to think I’m laughing with myself as I write, and avoiding the at myself, but sometimes that’s just not possible. For me, the key is not to try too hard. The words fly out of my characters’ mouths, or mine in some unexpected twist of phrase, byt sometimes when I read them over, they aren’t quite as hilarious as I’d first thought. But I do enjoy amusing myself on that initial lightning round.
Of course! If it doesn’t make me laugh when I’m writing it, it doesn’t make it into the manuscript I turn in to the publisher. The copyeditor is usually pretty serious, but a couple of times they have noted in the edits column on the manuscript, “this made me laugh.” I know I’ve really scored when I break through the copyeditor’s serious mode!
I rarely laugh out loud when I read (which means that if I write “lol” in a text to you, I’m probably lying). So when I actually do laugh aloud, I know it’s truly funny–at least to me. And when I laugh out loud at something that I myself wrote, well, that’s simply divine. Not super common, mind you, but very, very divine!
I have absolutely laughed at my own writing–and it always surprises me in the best kind of way. If something funny that popped into my head makes its way onto the page, it’s a bonus. I know I’m not trying to be funny for someone else; I simply find something funny and get to share it with others. And there’s not much better than sharing a laugh.
It’s funny—ha!—but just the other evening I was doing an event and someone asked me if I ever dialed back or removed some of the funny stuff from my books. I had to laugh—ha!—because I don’t think I’ve ever taken out some of the humor from my books. If anything, I dial it UP. So many of my revision notes to myself say “make this funnier!” I guess I figure if it makes me laugh, then it’ll make other people laugh. And if they don’t laugh then I guess they weren’t my audience!
I do chuckle at my own writing. The best is when I can envision things (especially dialogue) in my head. Then I just let it all out. I do hope the funny I feel transfers over to readers and adds that extra sparkling layer of humor.
Readers, have you ever laughed at your own jokes or something funny that you wrote or thought of?