Friday, March 13, 2009

Writing & Marketing Humor

Writing humor is often perceived as being difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. It is not that you write something that is fall on the floor funny, but it is that you take a fresh perspective on old things. For example, I wrote "Red Hot Scooter Mama" (available here) after going to the grocery store and encountering little demon kids from alien planets with non-existent parents. The article begins with a bow to the width of my feet. I could have just said, my feet are really wide, and because of that I have to ride a scooter around the grocery store.

But that wouldn't have been near as effective as, "Some woman are blessed with slender feet. Not me. Mine are as wide as the Mississippi, and have never sported an arch as lovely and delicate as the one in St. Louis." Immediately, you get a visual image with a spot of humor about my feet. But, by gosh and by golly, who even CARES about my feet? Yet, this article garnered more hits and comments than most of my other posts. Not only that, but it was taken off the blog and posted about on the different groups as a lively conversation ensued.

All about feet and little bratty kids!

The point is, humorous writing can be about anything. You may be thinking, I'm not Erma Bombeck. Exactly. You're who you are, and you write humor with your own bent.

Is there even a market for humor? The answer is a resounding "yes!" For about a year, I wrote a humor column for our local newspaper. If you're willing to write for free, most of the smaller newspapers are open to publishing humor written by local authors. You can post your humor on your blog, or personal website. Additionally, your humor column can grace almost any others website. Google "humor columns" and you'll see where others have marketed their humor.

Some people are under the impression that to be humorous, you have to be a Jay Leno or David Letterman. No, you don't have to tell jokes, you don't have to write cartoons. All you have to do is write about something that is humorous from your point of view. Perhaps about a trip where you lost one of your kids? How about the family cat that got caught in the tree? Or a baby who is just beginning to walk? Humor can be about anything! And once published, you'll find that a lot of people are interested in that spot of humor, too.

So dispel the myth that you cannot write humor. If you find something funny, chances are someone else will find it funny, too.

5 comments:

Donna M. McDine said...

Katie...you've only be blogging for three months and you are doing a tremendous job. And 28 followers to boot...WOO HOO.

Your post is terrific and you give great pointers on humor in writing...thanks!

Warmly,
Donna

P.S. Thanks for visiting me at cwim.blogspot.com

Mayra Calvani said...

Great post, Katie! I love reading and writing humor and you're right, it doesn't mean making jokes. It has more to do with having a sharp, perceptive, yet slightly askew eye for life and human behavior.

Katie Hines said...

Donna, I don't feel like I'm doing a slam-dunk job. I have to keep checking the statistics, where I see people are reading and visiting the page, but for some reason, others aren't commenting.

Morgan Mandel said...

It's true that not everyone has the same sense of humor, but if they're in the mood for a good laugh, most of the time they'll look for what's funny in something.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Jeez, Katie, I thought I had wide feet!

I'm one of the people with the bad habit of breezing through blogs and neglecting to leave comments. The next time you wonder about a low comment count compared to the number of visitors, feel free to think of me sitting at my desk, trying to squeeze in a 5 minute break and being interupted by my boss on one phone and my mom on the other.

How do they always know???

I do enjoy your posts. Keep them coming.

Charlotte