Friday, February 09, 2007

Yes it is funny!

Okay, guys. Faye started this debate, and I can’t sit back without defending myself. Yes, my humor is "out there" but Faye (whom I also love…bless her heart) has her own humorous style and let’s just say... sedate isn’t exactly how I would describe it. I mean…we’re talking about a heroine barbequing her boyfriend’s BVDs on a grill after finding him bumping uglies on the dining room table with a neighbor. Oh, yeah, the grilling-underwear episode only took place after the dining room table took a flying leap off the heroine’s four-story balcony. Now tell me, is that sedate?

And Faye, if that naked guy – with tattoos where most of us don’t think men should get tattooed -- was so off the charts, why did you not only embrace him into your second chapter, but have him re-appear on the all-important last page? Huh? Huh?

However, I think the point Faye is making is that humor is subjective, and we all write it, and enjoy it, in varying degrees. Okay, I’ll even admit my humor may be a little more "top-heavy" compared to my "sedate" critique partner. But in my defense, you have to consider my roots.

A home-grown Alabamian, my household included: two entrepreneurial brothers whose missions in life were to "pass gas" louder than the other, an adoring mother who accidentally stole a car, and lost her teeth on a plane, and a loving father who thought leaving dead fish in someone’s mailbox was funny. We won’t talk about the time he almost got arrested for building homemade fireworks and blew up my neighbor’s yard. Hey, my dad paid the vet bills for the neighbor’s dog. And Spot got along fine with three legs. (I’m joking...Spot didn’t lose a leg. The only thing really lost that day was my dad’s hearing in his left ear.)

So do tell us, what do you find funny? Tell us the author’s name, the book, and why it worked for you? Come on guys, we’re going to give away a gift certificate. And if Continental ever finds my mother’s teeth, I’ll add them to the pot.



meardaba said...

And if Continental ever finds my mother’s teeth, I’ll add them to the pot.

Well, with an offer like that...

I love witty repartee. If you can get the hero and heroine to have at least one good rip-up, I'm happy. The most recent book I read with this was THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Julie Anne Long. I was chuckling throughout the entire book, and I'm not a reader who usually laughs out loud.

If I could think of more I would, but my brain is fried and I want to go to sleep. Sorry!

Samantha Hunter said...

I like lots of different kinds of humor -- clever and subtle is as welcome as over the top, because I like to laugh.

Does anyone here watch New Christine? That show makes me laugh harder than any show recently, and it's the best when Christine is bumbling around the handsome schoolteacher she flirts with -- she commits so many snaffus it has me in hysterics.

Book wise, I think humor is so much harder -- I read things that are funny, make me smile, but it's the rare book that can make me laugh out loud -- Charlaine Harris's Sookies, the early books, had some of those moments. Many, many funny Stephanie Plum moments, which are wonderful.

I enjoy writing physical humor -- in About Last Night... one of my favorite things was when the subplot heroine wakes up in the subplot hero's bed and realizes what she's done and stumbles out of bed all wrapped up in the sheet and falls on her face. That's one of my very favorite moments.

In Untouched, I actually had many more humorous moments that my ed cut to make the book more consistent in tone, though she let me keep the bar scene where my former superheroine discovers mixed drinks...

I think I like books that aren't necessarily written funny all the way through, but which surprise you with humor in a well-crafted line or when a character who is very serious perhaps suddenly cracks a joke.

Either way, laughing is always good...


Sally MacKenzie said...

Well, as the author of The Naked Earl (and The Naked Duke and The Naked Marquis), I have to say naked and funny are good. But it is too true that humor is a tricky thing, even when done well. One person's knee slapper is another reader's wall banger.

JoAnn Ross said...

Sally's so right. Which, although I wrote humor for AZ's largest daily newspaper for several years before selling my first romance, I tend to stay away from writing it in my novels. (Which was why it was such a joke HQ chose me to launch their now defunct Love and Laughter line.)

Obviously more people are going to agree on what makes them cry, or what they're afraid of, than what makes them laugh. My sweetie and my kid consider me a philistine because I've never "gotten" those Pink Panther movies. I do, otoh, love satire (Spinal Tap remains one of my all time favorite movies), and last weekend I had to keep putting Thank You For Smoking on pause so I could laugh about all the lines without missing anything.

John Foxjohn said...

I would love to get in on this. You see, I happen to know Christie Craig. We are in the same romance chapter, and yes, they do let a few of us token men in.

But that is another story and I am sure you don't want to hear my humor, or lack of it.

Anyway, I happen to love Christie's humor, and think it is needed more not only in romance but all novels. Now, that is my subjective opinion.

Journey of the Spirit, coming in April
More people will read this novel in 2007 than any other

Nancy Morse said...

I don't use humor in any of my books, but I love the kind of irreverent humor that makes your mouth drop open and leaves you speechless for several moments before you roar with laughter. I'd have to say that humor is a big part of my marriage. My honey's been making me laugh since we were kids. Has anyone ever seen Richard Jeni (? spelling) on HBO or in person? Now, that's my kind of humor. Down and dirty.

ShanaGalen said...

I think Susan Elizabeth Phillips is hilarious. The funniest book of hers is LADY BE GOOD, especially the scene where Lady Emma comes home from the convenience store and Kenny goes through her purchases. Lady Emma is trying to create a scandal, so her purchases are pretty hilarious. Christie, I think you would appreciate that scene!

And I can't wait to read your books, Christie! I know they'll be hilarious :-)

Shana Galen

Christie Craig said...

I do love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and that scene was wonderful. And the show New Christine is great. I also really enjoy Two and a Half Men.

And while I love humor, some humor misses the mark with me, like it does with most people. And it does make humor hard to write. But when it's done well . . . oh goodness, nothing feels better than a good belly laugh.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

I am not a buff of humor per se in novels, but I indeed enjoy quick-hitters. For example, in my recently published novel, Fear of Feeling Loved, the heroine and her boyfriend were chatting with some people at a dinner and one of the guests said, "I've always preferred dating women who wear thick glasses."
"Why?" was the obvious question.
"Because when she takes them off we both look better."
In my view, some quick-hitting, comic-relief lines make for a good read.

Anonymous said...

Some great suggestions, guys! Thanks.

And, Sam, I'm a lot like you. I like humor mixed in with other great stuff. I think humor comes from characterization - but that's from the post for next week. LOL.

Thanks again, everyone, for your comments. (And, um, for meardaba...I have a hunch not too many people will be fighting you for CC's mom's teeth. lol.)


JoAnn Ross said...

>>I think humor comes from characterization

I think EVERYTHING comes from characterization.

Anonymous said...


>>I think EVERYTHING comes from characterization.

sharon said...

I love humor in books, but wit, intelligent humor used with charm and great writing and characters. Jennifer Crusie, WIlliam Kowalksi and Jonathan Tropper.