what’s so dang funny?
People love you when you’re funny.
You can get all scientificky and say the reason is laughter releases dopamine–the pleasure hormone. And endorphins, your natural opiates.
C’mon. It’s more than that.
When someone diddles your (READ THIS WORD CAREFULLY) titterer, you feel immediately closer to them. That’s why icebreakers always have some facet of humor to them. Though I concede it’s usually pretty lame.
Notice that the best speeches open with a joke.
(Though that one really pushes the envelope.)
And even sermons. In fact, in my opinion the very best sermons last the amount of time it takes to tell a joke, but no one listens to me. Yet another reason they won’t ordain me. Right behind the fact that I’m not male.
So, writers and writerettes, humor is your power tool. Use it to build a relationship with your reader, just like you use it to build relationships in real life. When people talk about a book like The Road by Cormac McCarthy, they might say it’s “powerful” or “thought-provoking”. But mention Lamb or Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore, or Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, people will show their pearly whites and enthuse, “Oh, I LOVED that book!”
Don’t we all want to be loved?
Since I’m semi-famous in my circle for being a smart ass peculiar kind of scary funny, I’ll have some more things to say about humor in the next several posts.