The problem with writing humor in your story is wondering if it's truly hilarious as you think it is?

Humor is hard for some writers to pull off in their story. A funny pun, a good running gag, a hilarious in hindsight joke, or something else, is not easy for a writer to do in a story that isn’t a comedy. It not even about the writer finding the humor and silly antics great, because anyone can laugh at their own humor…sadly enough. You, as a writer, want to laugh with the readers and know that the humor is not only great to you, but the readers enjoyed it too.

Sadly, many writers don’t think they are funny enough to add humor in their stories. So, they either avoid it or come up with crappy lame humor, by mistake. Making other share your comedic views is not an easy thing, as a writer.

How many stand-up comedians lost customers and “fans” from people not finding their jokes the least bit funny? Comedy is not only hard, but subjective as hell!

My question to you all is, do you think you are good at pulling off humorous moments in your stories that aren’t comedy based?

Even a dramatic and tragic story needs down time for the reader to take a breath from the heavy depressing story, sometimes laughter can assist with that, but many writers can’t do that in a serious story. They are afraid to do that, not simply because the story is so serious and sad that joking around doesn’t fit, but because humor is just not an easy thing to do regardless of the genre and subgenre.

So, what are your thoughts and feelings on humor in your own fiction and other people’s fiction?

Lend me your comments/opinions!



If a writer doesn’t think that they’re funny, will it show a lot in their story, even if they don’t try too hard?

There’s also the fact that some readers would find the jokes and humor overall, due to being sensitive and finding it just distasteful. That can be due to the dark humor that’s they dislike greatly and see it as immature.

So, writing humor that is appropriate and not triggering is also something to consider as well.

Again, thoughts and feelings?

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Not to mention, people see humor in things I totally don’t. For instance, a lot of people have told me Jane Austen’s humorous, but I don’t see any humor at all in anything I’ve read by her. Georgette Heyer, yes. But Jane Austen? I guess I’m reading the wrong books…? ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯


I think I’m decently funny and my imagination is naturally quite ridiculous.


I do have a humor sci-fi upper middlegrade story.

Do you find this funny?

Rap leaned forward so much he nearly folded himself in half.

Or this?

“Looks like the work of Coger Fiskleweed!” Dr. Lorkhead exclaimed.

“Koga Fizzleweedo?” the lizard said, clearly only able to speak Japanese.

“Dr. Lorkhead, do you have your Translation Earphones?” Two held out her hand.

“As I matter of fact I do.” He searched in his many pockets of his Made-For-Survival-In-Wilderness Jacket.

Or this?

She was here to just live life and not deal with these shenanigans.

Or he-nanigans.

I don’t consider myself a humor writer, but these are some scenes I find funny from Two and the Last Year on Earth (which is all really a bunch of ridiculousness). If a reader blows more air out their nose than usual or gives a little grin, I call that a win.

I didn’t mean to rhyme :stuck_out_tongue:


I think I’m funny and get told by others that I’m funny, so I use humor in my stories. I try to keep them from being too dated or insulting, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay to me.



It’s not laugh out loud funny but it is decently amsuing.


That’s a win then.


Or this:

“Hello, thank you for coming aboard our humble plane. Would you like anything to drink?” came the flight attendant.

Two beamed. “If you have any milk, that would be nice.”

The flight attendant nodded. “And you, sir?” she said to Grayhound.

“Nah, just an ice cube is fine.”

The flight attendant’s smile stiffened, and she went away to get their stuff.

Two sighed in annoyance. “An ice cube? Are you out of your mind?” She glanced at Grayhound who nodded at her dead serious.


Well that was a dumb question of me, of course he is.

I don’t think I’m funny to the general masses, but if I can figure out what tickles you individually, I can find ways to make you laugh. For story writing, it’s more about trying to please the masses, so I do make my humor more on the silly side rather then trying to be clever like a standup comedian.

I don’t think any of my silliness in writing can be standup comedy material. But if I can make a few people smile, well, that’s a win.


I do have a story that has a darker kind of humor. Might not be other people’s cup of tea, but I’m taking a chance :wink:


At that moment, the door opened with a creak and there stood Geoffrey ‘Gluttony’ Brews although no one would ever mention that unspeakable nickname. Yet, if gluttony was a person, it would be this bulge of a man. It would not have been an over exaggeration to say he had no neck. He could probably throw himself at ten pins and strike them all down.


I shall tackle the answers later on today.
Thanks so much everyone! :blush:

Emma is literally a comedy though???


i dunno, i think my style of humour pairs pretty well with the writing I do but I would definitely struggle to write something comedic. I lean toward sarcasm and deadpan, which doesn’t usually pull belly laughs or anything, but that’s fine because the purpose of whatever scene is usually like, character bonding or sth. As long as I get the main point across (and the joke doesn’t eviscerate it with cringe), it’s okay if its not hilarious.


I totally agree there has to be some level of humour in a novel, but not necessarily knee-slappers.

I mean Sylvia Plath, the canonical Queen of Depression, had plenty of humour in The Bell Jar. The bleak existential The Stranger by Albert Camus begins with incongruous humour: “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.”

I’d like to think to think I am lol. I go unnecessarily deep into it because of my interest and academic work on humour. There’s a whole lot of theory to consider: relief, superiority, incongruity, tendentious and non-tendentious jokes, feminism… the list goes on. Discworld is the best compendium to see all of this in action (I recommend The Wizards sub-series).

My favourite modes of humour are: the carnivalesque, the grotesque and the trickster. I use these three elements in my story liberally. In simpler terms, I have a scat joke or two in the story lol.

I have a trickster character who plays an important role in the story. He acts as a comic relief through his misadventures (getting chased by a mob for seducing their wives, getting turned into a cat, inadvertently stealing the moon). There’s more to him than that but he’s the obvious thing you can point to and say yeah that is comic.

I think you have to commit to the bit. If you can convince the reader to suspend their disbelief in your made-up world, you can deliver a joke. Outwardly or subtextually.

True different people prefer different types of humour. But that can’t be helped I’m afraid. As a general rule I stick to “it’s not funny if you have to explain it”.


yeah but it’s also a comedy for people who lived at the same time as Jane Austen and had the context and experience to get the joke. I’m not a young woman in the 19th century, I don’t live in that society, (and haven’t studied that period of history outside of whatever they included in high school history class), so I don’t find Emma running around meddling with people and being done with Miss Bates particularly entertaining. Likewise, Jane Austen probably wouldn’t find Taelynn or “you can’t do that here, it’s not the rez” jokes funny because she wouldn’t have the context.


Honestly, everyone has a different idea of what humour is to the point that things that aren’t meant to be funny come across as funny to certain readers. I don’t bother trying to force it in my stories. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Forcing humour is probably one of the worst things a writer can do


True, but the fear kind of forces them to do that, depending on the writer.


Is it? I haven’t read that one, but maybe I’ll move it up on my tbr now! ( ˆ◡ˆ)۶ ٩(˘◡˘ )

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See? Humor in books escapes me. If there was anything funny at all in those two books it went totally over my head. I found The Bell Jar nothing but depressing, and I thought the opening line of The Stranger was meant to convey how completely lacking in empathy the character was. I’d better not attempt any humor in my own books! (♯^.^ღ)

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It’s all subjective.