There are times when I wonder why I can’t write as fast as I can think, and others when I wish I was a funnier writer.
I’m considered a wise-ass by most people who know me, and I won’t deny that descriptor at all. I can be bitingly sarcastic – but never cruel – and I’ve been known to make grown women leave a dinner table and head for the ladies room just so they won’t pee in their pants from laughing.
I can be quick, biting, snarky, and sometimes guffaw-able, in real life.
But on the page, I die to find the funny.
Most humor is based on tragedy, or so the saying goes. Most of my humor is found in dumbass situations that happen everyday in my life. The Lucille Ball moments we all have at one time or another.
But when I’ve got characters I want to invest a little humor in, I’m lost.
Most of us know at least one person, an uncle, a friend, even a co-worker, who can take any situation and see the humor in it enough to make everyone around them laugh. These people are usually the “best-friends” in novels, like the Rosie O’Donnell character in Sleepless in Seattle. Always ready with a witticism – usually spot on and deadly – about whatever is occurring in the scene at hand. These characters lighten the mood, add realism to the situations in the book, and generally are well liked by readers.
Why, oh why, then, can I not write that person??
I’ve tried; believe me. The humor I’ve given my peeps sounds flat on the page and not funny at all. Writers like Jill Shalvis and Janet Evanovich can make me laugh out loud when I’m reading their work. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed at anything I’ve tried to write as funny.
I think it was famed actor Edmund Kean who said, “Dying (Tragedy) is easy; comedy is hard.”