Finding Your Funny: Using Humor For More Than Just Laughs
02:00 to 04:00

In this two hour workshop, learn to identify your kind of funny and how to use that humor to increase drama, highlight conflict, control pacing, and deepen characterization in your picture book, middle grade, or YA. Please bring a work in progress to play with during the workshop. (PB=full ms, MG/YA=a problematic chapter).

Humor can be used to soften or harden a character, build tension or decrease it, move the story forward quickly or slow the pace to a crawl; it can distract or focus, hide or reveal. It’s a multi-purpose tool for all aspects of story telling that universally draws the reader in and increases the reader’s connection to the story. We don’t always understand why we find something funny; we just enjoy laughing. In fact, identifying the what and how of humor is often like identifying porn: we know it when we see it. However, in the case of humor, just going with your gut doesn’t always result in the funniest, or most humorous, moment possible. Understanding what is funny and why and to whom it’s funny leads to how to increase the humor to maximize its effect.

There are many theories as to why humans laugh. An understanding of those theories and the ability to recognize your own style of humor gives you the power to manipulate the use of humor more effectively in your manuscripts. Understanding styles of humor that don’t match your own allows you to make the humor in your stories more universal. As with any writing technique, the more you understand it, the more purposefully you can use it to strengthen your stories.

I’ll be presenting this workshop twice in 2017. The first time in Tampa on Jan. 27th and the second time in the Orlando area on Feb. 4th. Hope to see you there!