Humor in its various forms is something so many writers strive to master. So I’m excited to welcome Carole P. Roman, author of over 70 books including Giggles Galore: Jokes, Riddles, and Fun Facts for Kids of All Ages, to share her thoughts on the merits of humor and how to add it into stories.
I remember once, a long time ago, I was reading a book on a plane ride and giggling at a situation the main character found herself in. I don’t recall the book or the circumstances, only the astonishment of my husband watching me. He couldn’t understand how a book could amuse me. He was not much of a reader, and the idea that you could read a story and laugh out loud was hilarious to him in the absurdity.
I looked up in surprise and explained that a good author with a deft hand could use words to build humor into any story. A few years later, I became an author, eventually writing over seventy books. Humor is an important component in many of the books I write. It serves as a hook. I like to catch the reader unaware, sneaking up on them in a tense situation and then breaking the ice with wit, a quip, or even a crazy series of events that engages and captures their attention. I don’t want them to feel that they can put my book down.
Unpredictability is the secret sauce of any good book…
Unpredictability is the secret sauce of any good book, and even when your plot may be mundane, humor is one of the key ingredients that give depth and humanity to a character. I write for all age groups and have used humor in various ways. In many of my early children’s books, I used a double entendre so that parents could enjoy the red herrings thrown into a simple pirate story
that they share with a young child. It certainly helps when you have to read that same book forty-eight times in one week.
I used humor to help soften some of the tough subject matters in both Oh Susannah and Grady Whill. I was able to incorporate all different kinds of humor, including jokes to wordplay, and finally, a build-up to a great visual scene that uses slapstick or other extraordinary events leaving the reader chuckling along with me on our journey to the end of the book. Humor makes the unbelievable, believable. It teaches without the sting of a lesson, and lastly, it’s vastly entertaining.
For more information about Carole P. Roman, visit Book Review + Giveaway: Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex and Book Spotlight: Giggles Galore and Grady Whill and The Templeton Codex.