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In the world we live in, I think people tend to gravitate toward things that shock us out of the normal groove, and that is evident in the kind of content we consume. The shocks can come from harsh politics or things that drive outrage or sympathy or any number of things, but my personal favorite is humor. Usually zany, subtle, ironic, self-deprecatory humor. Not all at once, because that sounds difficult to manage, but that’s my taste. Since a platform is built on me (or at least the parts of me I choose to share with the world), it stands to reason that my content should also have a certain element of humor. Maybe not all comedy, all the time, but I like it when a sudden joke lightens the mood or breaks up a dry, serious piece. (Probably why I tend to like Marvel movies.)

Being funny is harder than I thought.

I should say, being consistently funny is difficulty. There are in-jokes, weird things that happened to me today, whole long life-stories that culminate in one single hilarious moment, but these don’t usually translate well online. It’s also not what I’m going for. More the occasional snort of laughter as one is going through a useful piece about outlining, or something like that. So how do I become funnier?

Answer 1: It takes practice. Really? No kidding. This is what you all thought. Be honest. Everything in the world takes practice. All of it. No exceptions. So this is the obvious one.

Answer 2: It takes effort. Also obvious. To be more specific, if I want my posts to be funny I need to take the time and make an entire round of edits based on the tonal quality and if I hit the right humorous notes. I want it to seem effortless in its completion, but effortless takes behind-the-scenes work.  So I need to be prepared to focus at least part of my attention on this element, since it’s important to me. (Darn it, this sounds like more work.)

Answer 3: It involves patterns, and tone. If the funnies are to be included, they need to be included regularly, and when appropriate. This varies from blog to blog, and post to post, and is pretty much a matter of instinct, but it’s something to consider. I need to understand not just when it’s good to have a funny moment, but also exactly how that applies to my particular piece of writing that I’m working on.

Answer 4: It involves gifs. In this day and age, we have all come to understand the brilliance of tiny little images with silly quotes or captions to indicate a mood or cause us to reflect on certain movies and shows with fondness. Having the right picture to go along with the funny words is a good skill to have. (I don’t have it yet. Which is why this post is gif-free.)

There are a lot of funnier people than me who can give advice on good ways to include humor in writing effectively. The following articles are ones I liked and will probably refer to in the future. Check them out!

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-mix-humor-into-your-writing

http://thewritepractice.com/four-commandments-to-writing-funny/

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