This is a guest post by Stewart Agron. If you want to submit a guest post of your own be sure to read the guest post guidelines.
Forming up creative ideas and retaining creativity throughout a write-up is as arduous as trying to figure out how to put a giraffe in a refrigerator. But adding humour to your article, essay or a novel isn’t as difficult as you imagine.
Humour is a part of our life and we tend to use it – intentionally or unintentionally – in our everyday interaction. For instance, we tend to use the popular expression LOL or the iconic smiley when we text our friends or family.
Likewise, we sometimes say or do things that are amusing in their own way, even if the act wasn’t intentional at all. I’ve a habit of turning off my monitor when I leave my seat and turning the display on when I come back. However, sometimes when I forget to switch off the screen and later come back, I press the power button unconsciously even though the display is already on.
The point is that humour is already there and it is already in our life. Hence, anyone can use humour in his writing since having a sense of humour is a bi-directional trait of humans, us – unless you think you are emotionless like Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th.
Before I proceed to the main topic of my article, let me outline some of the common techniques of humour which I (daresay) you must understand before using it in your work.
- Satire: Literary artists have been using satire in their work since 16th century. It is the highest form of humour where the author exposes the shortcomings and follies of an individual or society as a whole and then mock or ridicule them. Satire is itself divided into two types: Horatian satire and Juvenalian satire, where the former is a mild satire and the later is chronic or intense.
- Irony: It is a type of humor where the writer writes or says in a manner that normally signifies the exact opposite of what is written or said.
- Exaggeration: It is one of the important tools that humourist or satirist authors tend to use to add humour to their work. They bring gentle smile to the readers’ face by overstating or over embellishing the attributes of a person or an object.
- Understatement: Just like exaggeration can be used as a humour tool for your write-up, its exact opposite, understatement, can give you the same result but with a bit different touch.
Although humour comes in a variety of forms and techniques, for the sake of the length of this write-up, I’ve mentioned the list of some most common yet important ones. I urge you to read more about each technique in a more detailed manner to get familiarized with it.
Now, let’s move on to the main topic of this article and see how we can add humour to our writing without losing creativity or without sounding overly hilarious.
How to Add Humour
- Always Shun Sarcasm: Before you try to use humour in your work, you need to know the fine line between sarcasm and humour. Remember, humour brings amusement or smile, while sarcasm always offends. Hence, keep away from sarcastic jokes. Instead, poke the reader with a mild humour using tools like exaggeration, irony or double irony.
- Never Beat Yourself Up Over Offending: Let’s face the fact, every human has a different opinion on things and thus a unique perception. Regardless of how you use humour, you can’t know it for sure whom it may offend, even if the humour is meek itself. Therefore, never worry about offending the readers, but always be true to your voice and your assertions.
- Use Humour Sparingly & Strategically: As a creative writer, you need to be highly-cautious of when, where and how much humour you shall use in your creative write-up. Since creative articles are not usually funny or comical, it is necessary that one must use humour sparingly throughout his work so that may keep a fine line between a comic and a creative writer.
- Use Clichés Once in a While: If you find it hard to come up with something which is amusing yet not inappropriate for the readers, try using what they have already heard a dozens of time before: Cliché. You may use synonyms or homonyms to write different versions of a cliché to keep it amusing and unique at the same time.
- Use The Power of Expressions Vested Within You: Expression or to be exact figure of speech is the bedrock of humour. Hence, without the use of metaphors or similes, you can never achieve the true height of humour that you desire to see in your work.
Although the tips I’ve mentioned in this article are proven, they will not make you a humourist within a day or two. You need a lot of practice to polish your humour writing skills to see the desired results. Good Luck!
Stewart Agron, a perfectionist by nature, is an MMORPG fan, a talent photographer and a an active blogger on Dissertation Help. She also has a keen interest in graphic designing as well and when she is not busy with her work, she usually spends her time playing around with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.