Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Jokes

This month I'm participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The theme I'm going with this year is writing humor. Follow along to learn more about the different ways to make your fiction, articles or blog posts humorous. 

There are many many kinds of jokes. Here's just five of them...


I love this method of crafting humor. This is simply comparing something ordinary to something funny.  If you're writing about someone being a sloppy eater then think of funny things to compare this to. Make a list. And choose your favorite, the one that makes you laugh the most.

She dug into her lunch like a starving zombie at an All You Can Eat Brains Buffet. 

Source Observando


I love this type of humor. This is sometimes called dry wit or dry humor and is delivered straight and serious.  This type of humor draws attention to the words themselves, instead of different devices. 

A great example of this in children's literature is Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. The whole series is brilliant and I adore it. 

But probably my very favorite example of dry humor is the British comedy Are You Being Served? Oy! That show is brilliant. 


How about taking cliches and turning them on their head? So, instead saying, "Any friend of yours is a friend of mine." You could try, "Any friend of yours is a friend I need to run from."

Another well know cliche is, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."

Maybe you have a character giving another character advice. Say, this character is about to play some game and is worried about the outcome. So, his somewhat unhelpful friend could say, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether you manage to keep from puking your guts all over the place."


This is probably one of my least favorite. This is where mock violence is used to get the laughs. Think Chris Farley or The Three Stooges. Personally, I think this is better used sparingly. When a comedy is built entirely around it, it gets a bit stale. BUT to each their own.


This is also called dark or gallows humor. And I have to admit, I think this one can be quite fun. But I think it works best when it's taken so far, to such an extreme that it crosses the line into being silly and outrageous. Think Roald Dahl and what he does to some of his characters.

Also, Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events is a great example of this.

So, I'd love to hear a joke! Can you use one of these techniques to come with a funny line or two? And then be brave and share your joke in the comments? 


  1. Joke? On command? Er……….. got nothing. Let me come up with something and maybe I'll share it later!

    Thanks for breaking down the different kinds of jokes. I'm not really a fan of slapstick, either.

    Lyre at Lyre's Musings

  2. I got noth'n.
    But I have to say, I've been reading your A-Z and enjoying your blogs. I typically don't use a lot of humor. This morning as I was writing, there it was. I was all like, really? Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. "Are You Being Served?" is one of my all-time favorite shows. Hilarious!