So when I saw a panel session on humor at the Life the Universe & Everything conference, I knew I had to attend. There was a great list of panelists: Berin Stephens, Craig Nybo, Eric James Stone, Platte F. Clark, Robert J Defendi, and Larry Correia. I couldn’t miss this.
I just didn’t know what was going to happen there.
The panelists had the crowd chuckling throughout the whole hour. It was great. Near the end of the panel session, they opened up for questions and I raised my hand immediately.
“When I rolled the die for humor, I got a zero.” I explained. “How can I best improve my humor? Are there books? Websites? I realize I can’t become amazingly humorous right away. I just want one attempt at being funny to work at least one time in my entire novel.”
Well, the entire audience erupted in laughter. It doesn’t even sound funny when I wrote it down just now, and it probably doesn’t sound funny as you read it, but the audience sure thought it was.
So guess what one of the panelist told me. He said this: “We’ve been up here all hour and we could only make the audience chuckle. You got them to erupt in laughter. You’re funny.”
That moment gave me a huge amount of confidence. It also helped me to understand two principles that they taught in the panel.
- Just write and let the reader find humor.
- Make and effort to include humor.
Well, I also got back my novel from my wonderful editor, Sarah Bylund. One of her comments was this: “The story has a good mixture of seriousness and humor.”
This floored me. I thought it was all serious. I had made and effort to add a funny thing or two, but I assumed I had failed. I guess without realizing it, I’d followed those two principles above.
I am pretty sure I can name who has helped me the most with my humor in my life. Nate, Mike (and to a lesser extent Andrew). You know who you are. Thanks!