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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Writing Wednesday - Writing Humor

What genre do you write in? As most of you know, I write picture books and middle grade novels. I  also write articles, poetry and short stories. 

I have always wanted to write humor. I did put a little humor in my middle grade novel, The Family Treasure. I think it made it much better. Children love reading funny stories and I can't blame  them, so do I. Laughter, just like a smile, is contagious. Nothing makes you feel better than to see a smile on someone's face as they read a funny line or poem you have written.

I've noticed that bloggers who write humorous posts have lots of followers and lots of comments. When you have had  a bad day,  it is  nice to sit  down  and  read something  funny. It makes you forget your cares and worries for a few minutes.

I loved Erma Bombeck and would love to write like she did. I have one of her books titled,  "When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time To Go Home." Well, I've never had a passport before, but if the photo on it looks anything  like your driver's  license photo, I totally understand.

In case you are interested, I found a site on the internet that gives Humor Writing Tips.  

Do you write humor? Do you have any tips for writing humor? Do you think anyone can do it or is it a gift?

I leave you with a few funny quotes from Erma Bombeck:

"Once you get a spice in your home,  you have it forever. Women never throw out  spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go."

"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."

"Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time."

"The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again."

"Youngsters of the age of two and three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub."

Happy Writing!


  1. I enjoy writing and have published as a freelance journalist -- a couple of magazine articles, numerous newspaper articles, and some computer blogs (though not a regular thing).

    I can write on a variety of subjects, (including sports and obituaries which is really weird) but prefer good-news people-oriented fare. I can do hard news if I must, but do not seek that kind of writing.

    I have written a little comedy but there are issues true of written or stand-up comedy. I find that my funny stuff (which to me is hilarious) appeals only to selected people. Either there are only certain people who "get it" or else it is truthfully inside jokes between me and a small number of people. Therefore a handful of people are rolling on the floor with me while the others just shake their heads wondering what in the world is wrong with us.

    The most successful commedians have a good "gimmick" like family humor, crazy things at work, or the unfortunate x-rated fare.

    My favorite is a play on words -- it fascinated me how so many words in the English language have double meanings. I also enjoy funny analogies.

    So good luck everyone with your writing. And if you hope to pursue comedy, think of the audience you wish to appeal to and find a common thread that all will "get." Then find a good method to communicate with this audience and hopefully your following will increase daily! Phyllis Salmons

  2. Thanks for tickling my funnybone, Janet! I'm definitely going to check out your humor link! Write on!

  3. I don't write humor, but love reading it. Erma Bombeck definitely set the bar high ... I think to be able to write humor, and nail it with real life situations the way she did, is a gift, through and through. She had such a clear vision that she brought to her words.

  4. Thanks for the humor this morning Janet! Hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. Love Erma. Her humor is timeless.

    Her one on spices is so true. I need to date mine so I'd know when to throw them away.

  6. I love Erma Bombeck's words. Until a few years ago, I didn't know spices went bad. Who knows what all I've eaten that should've killed me. I'm happy to find your blog.

  7. I love Erma Bombeck! I think some people are naturally witty and the rest of us have to work at it. But it's also an acquired skill. I think I'm funnier (at least to my kids!) once I started writing kid books. :)

  8. Hi Janet, thank you for leaving a note on my blog today, it was so nice to hear from you! Your post on writing humor is so interesting. I am going to look up the link you gave. I agree, I think a little humor brings life and depth to our writing. Life is just filled with it, in outright and subtle ways. I grew up reading Erma Bombeck's article in the newspaper every day. She was one of a kind. I love to write but I feel I still have a great deal to learn. I just had my first story published last year in Mary Jane's Farm magazine 2010 Apr/May edition. I was so excited I just about popped. I would love to have that remarkable feeling again someday! I hope you have a lovely evening. Delisa :)

  9. I just adore Erma and humor. I can find humor in the saddest of situations, it's just how I fly!

    Then again, I generally see the cup half full and know the sun will shine again.

    God bless and have a fantastic day sweetie!!!

  10. Hi Janet,
    The Erma Bombeck quotes are priceless--and timeless. Love them.
    Humor is so hard to write. Wish I could do it better.

  11. Janet,
    Thanks for the tips on writing humor. I would love to be able to write humorous stories. I like to read funny stuff. Your blog is always filled with great ideas for writers.

  12. I'm not very good at writing humor but I love to read it : )


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