When in Doubt, Make a Funny Face

Miss Crankypants wishes she could be razor-sharp funny every time. Every time. But alas, Miss CP gets busy running the universe and by Tuesday, she is pooped. She can’t find a single funny line. So in the interim, she will hold forth on how to write humor.

Now, you’d think a funny chanteuse like Miss CP would never run out of material–has she mentioned that when she got to Wacky Aunt Shirlee’s house, she found sticky evidence that dear Auntie believed her oven was not cooking things right and had duct-taped shut the oven door? But even great comedienne’s falter now and then. So if you are plotting to take over this blog, you need a primer on funny.
  • Think like your pet. This isn’t funny in a good way, but think about it. Your cat or dog or bird sit around watching you act like an idiot every single day.They know you’re a container-of-Ben & Jerry’s-a-night-type. Even the fish probably say mean stuff about your weight when you aren’t looking. Meanwhile, the dog loves you so much he pees on your foot, while the cat secretly loathes you and is plotting escape. The bird? Well, the cat is convinced that your feathered friend is only ensconced in a cage hanging up high so it can rat (or sing?) on whatever the other pets are into. The trash, the fridge, your car. Wait! Where are my keys?
  • Work on Your Timing. Everybody knows jokes need to be perfectly timed. Bada-bing, bada boom. Zingers every few lines. Don’t be like a certain acquaintance who always accidentally blurts out the punchline before setting up the joke. You know, like don’t fall in the mud puddle and then try to run the tape backward. Cuz if you do, it’ll sound like “eddlup eht ni llef I neht.”
  • Mine the Element of Surprise. You’ve got to sneak up on jokes and lead your reader around the back way. Then, surprise! There’s a clown waiting with a cream pie . Or a seltzer bottle, whatever that is. Or at least some idiot making a funny face. The dog, cat and bird are watching, though. And they will have their revenge.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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