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Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Sixth Sense

There are five senses, right? Sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Fiction writers are constantly being told to use your senses. Good authors do when it organically fits the scene. But in romance fiction we need one more sense.
I’m not talking about anything paranormal, other-worldly, unexplained, ghostly, sci-fi, horror or fanciful. That’s a discussion for another time. I’m talking about the sense of humor. Okay, I know it’s not a sense, although the way some psychologists describe it, you’d think otherwise.
So why then, humor? If you’ve ever read various studies of what a mate wants in his/her opposite, a sense of humor ranks at or near the top. It often tops looks! Lightheartedness usually sustains a relationship (along with empathy, love, commitment). We write romance and yet one novel after another forgets to inject humor by either or both the heroine and hero. Sad.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a comedian or study humor, memorize jokes or construct clever phrases. Draw on your experiences at the least. Ain’t there always a cut-up in the crowd. Someone who found irony in something? Some joke during sex? Analogies will do nicely. Double entendres are easy. Deliberately taking the alternative and wrong meaning from something a person said. Just being witty.
Don’t overdo it, especially if you aren’t a Jack Benny, Henny Youngman, Robin Williams...
Consider a romance novel without humor. Would you ask yourself why the hell they got together? Would their life in the castle be as dreary as the cold damp walls?
When Harry Met Sally, 1989, the “I’ll have what she’s having, scene.”
https://youtu.be/F-bsf2x-aeE

1 comment:

  1. Love this advice, Rick. I find humor the hardest thing to write. I'm inherently not funny, well, maybe only in the sharp-tongue form. But I agree, it's needed and as writers we should always seek appropriate places to include it, even in serious stories. Good suggestions. Thanks

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