Pacing. This is a term we, as writers, hear about fairly often. So, what makes for good pacing in humor? How do we do it?
As I was researching this topic, I came across an article about writing humor by Dave Barry. He had this to say about pacing. And it pretty much sums up the way to do it.
"You need to have a real strong sense of pacing. Too many attempts at humor fail because A, either it takes forever to get to what's supposed to be funny and just wanders around before it gets there, doesn't seem to be any purpose. Or once it gets there, it says it over and over and over, it doesn't get out of there, you know, quickly. So, I think it's a lot like stand-up comedy, in a sense, you don't let the reader see it coming, you hit the reader with it, and then you get out of there and go to something else the reader doesn't see coming. And that's probably the most fundamentally important thing." -Dave Barry
Brilliant. Get in, say what you need and then leave. Or, in other words, set up the joke, add a few more details and then drop the punchline.
What are your thoughts on pacing? Is this something that comes natural to you? Or do you have to really work hard to pace your humor or, simply, your writing well?