Today, as ever, the world remains in need of humor. With this in mind, and with the hope of seeing more humorous writings in the marketplace, iUniverse gives guidance on how to write a comic novel. If you’re fond of telling jokes and funny stories, it may be time to take this to the next level and put it into a book!
One: Characterization: to begin, all comedies consist of personalities that make us laugh. The characters who are often the funniest are those who are mentally “thick” or incredibly eccentric. One writer who mastered both was PG Wodehouse, author of the “Jeeves” series. Wodehouse created Bertie Wooster, an amicable but pleasantly unintelligent man with friends who are even less bright. However, their stupidities give us a chuckle. The uncles and aunts in his books, who have such idiosyncrasies as raising rabbits in their bedrooms, also contribute to the humor of the story. Check out his character Uncle Fred to see more.
Two: Tone: while it is difficult to tell a joke in print in the same way as orally, try your best to write as though it sounds like you are talking. This will require several attempts and may be frustrating, but it is worth it. Keep it lighthearted and try to use dialogue as much as possible.
Three: Language: humor sounds funniest when presented in the form of everyday conversation, so don’t be afraid to use idioms and slang. One writer who manages to tell a story well while flouting grammar rules is Ben Elton, whose novels have much of the same charm as his Blackadder TV series.
Four: Let your jokes tell themselves: as Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” If you have to explain something that you find funny, it probably will lose its effect on the reader. Part of the essence of humor is that it is quick and often unexpected.
Five: Plot: finally, iUniverse has the good news that you need not have a particularly lofty or even genuine plot. Many comic novels revolve around marriage, saving the world, or just getting to a destination.