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QUEST BLOGGING TODAY: SHERRY ISAAC ON HUMOR IN FICTION

Raised by Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, Maggie finalist Sherry Isaac writes tales of love, life and forgiveness that transcend all things, including the grave. Her first collection of short stories, Storyteller, debuted this July. Visit Sherry on the web like her onFacebook, follow her onTwitter, and become a fan on Goodreads. Read more of Sherry’s blog posts on Romance & Beyond.

I am thrilled to WELCOME SHERRY ISAAC back to my hammock. It took little persuasion. I know FAR too many secrets about this published, award-winning author. I shall now roll out of the HAMMOCK, and leave Sherry to impart her wisdom.

ROMANCING THE FUNNY BONE

by Sherry Isaac

Is comedy a lesson? Can humor be taught?

When our oldest was in his teens, my husband used to joke that the boy’s grades were just good enough to apply for Rodeo Clown College, so maybe.

I’ve seen adverts for online classes, promising authors instruction on how to put humor on the page.

Never signed up, but I’ve often wondered, how can these facilitators teach someone what’s funny? Is there a funny switch that can be turned on and off at will?

If so, I’ve misplaced mine. Or sat on it, squashed it, made it inoperable. My back end is expanding. Anything is possible.

I can write to a purpose: create suspense, tenderness, awe, sensuality or sorrow, with deliberation.

But comedy?

No way.

I don’t know how comedians do it.

My mission today? Write a feature post for Gloria Richard who, as her bio will tell you, likes laughter in life, so that’s what she puts on the page. My host might as well wheel in the defibrillator cart. I’m having a heart attack.

Can humor be forced? Are there writers, outside of the comedy circuit, who sit down and purposely write a funny scene? What does their To-Do list look like?

Item #1: Be funny.

Item #2: Create chuckles.

Item #3: Tickle a funny bone or two.

Granted, comedy writers may not set out to task as blatantly as that, but how do they do it? How do they summon funny on command?

I’m told I’m funny. I am so not, though I admit sometimes I say funny things, so when I write funny, it comes naturally, and by accident. A quip, an amusing observation, is never planned.

An arrow of self-deprecation, though well-aimed, is almost always a fluke.

A little like life.

Maybe that’s what comedy is. Those natural, unexpected moments. Perhaps the gift of crafting comedy is the fine art of letting those natural, raw, pure moments of whimsy fall off the pen, so to speak, without filtration, deliberation, or expectation.

Thanks for dropping in, Sherry. Sigh. She refuses to leave the HAMMOCK. Claims she’s staying to field questions and learn from your experences. So, humor her and I may yet get a nap. Does your work include humor hits? Do you enjoy reading humor? What works for you? What doesn’t work? Inquiring minds…



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