15 September 2009

Lots and Lots of Laughter

Hey, Friends!

This week we're going to look a bit (just a bit, because again, it's such a great topic we'll probably return to it in the future) at humor and the role it plays in our stories.

I don't know anyone who doesn't love to laugh. It's fun, it makes that pleasure center in our brains light up, and everyone is full of joy. Laughing is the best--especially when you get to that place where it's an ab workout as well!

Humor is such a great tool for writing. It can shed light on a subject that gravity can't. It can provide enough protection and comfort that a reader (or a character) is able to go where he/she wouldn't have been willing to go without it. The weight of grief lessens with a really good joke, just for a moment. And the joy of celebration is only that much more wonderful when laughter passes between friends. Humor is just another lens through which we can see the world.

Have you noticed that the funniest things of all are true? Like when a stand up comic points out irony of a particular group, how it functions or thinks, and you think to yourself, "Oh my gosh, that's so true!" We can reveal truth in humor in a way that is memorable, fun, and authentic to the story, the authors, and the readers.

But how do we do it? I find that writing humor is really difficult. I have a very serious nature. I love to have fun and to laugh. But I'm usually not the one cracking jokes, unless it's a random moment where things are clicking in my brain (and those moments are rare). It comes down to timing, I think. Humor has to have a rhythm, and I was born without that. It's something I have to learn. There are some funny moments in my novels, but I blame my characters for them. They are a lot funnier than I am. The primary way I crack jokes is through sarcasm, which is probably something we'll talk about another time. I'm just not that good at being funny. But I do love to laugh, so I just surround myself with funny people and that's taken care of!

So, I want to know, what are your tricks? What are the little things you do to bring humor to your stories? What are the secrets you've found? I've listed my primary ones: truth and timing. What are yours?

In honor of our topic for this week, I have a video for you. Have any of y'all heard of the Skit Guys? They are hilarious! I've seen them live twice and actually lost my voice laughing so hard at them. Of course, like everything, they are best live. But I think it's something you would really enjoy!

The Skit Guys are two men who write and act out skits for youth ministry. The way they convey truth through their skits is INCREDIBLE. You get to the end of them and go, "Wow". They are just that good. For more information on them, you can go to www.skitguys.com. This video is called "God's Chisel". It's actually not meant to be super funny (though it does have it moments), but it has an incredible message. I chose this particular video in hopes that it will minister to you as much as it did to me.



My question to you--and this is a rhetorical question, please do not feel that I'm asking something this personal of you online--is, regarding the final moments of the video, what would you have trouble saying about yourself? And how can God meet you there? What does He have to say about that?

See you Thursday!




****Mucho thanks to T.Anne and Anne L.B for their help with teaching me how to embed a Youtube video!!!****

26 comments:

  1. Okay, I just cried after watching that video. Thanks for sharing. What a powerful message, and one we all can learn from. All those moments of self doubt can disappear if we remember those words: I am God's masterpiece.

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  2. Kristen, what a powerful video. The coolest thing is how God used it to reach my daughter. She heard it playing, came into my office and listened to the whole thing with me. She's heading to college this coming weekend and really needed to hear this particular message. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Kristen,
    Some people are definitely more gifted at humor than others! I'm not sure how I bring humor out in my stories. I guess as I'm writing and looking for ways to make my characters larger than life, the humor pops up from time to time. Thanks for getting me thinking about this today! It's so good to remember to incorporate it somehow into our stories!

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  4. I like how you say that humor is such a great tool for writing. Not only in writing, but in life general. Thank you for sharing this reminder. Blessings to you and yours!

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  5. Kristen,
    How funny, I almost posted this one today to lighten things up. It's a goodie.
    ~ Wendy

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  6. It was a phenomenal video. Thanks for sharing, it gave me goosebumps. They're very, very good, and I appreciate His message.

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  7. I agree, humor is hard to write! But I love it. And you know what? I still don't know how to embed a YouTube video :(

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  8. Hey, Cindy!

    If you go to YouTube to view a video, at the top right of the screen is a box with a url and an embed address. Just copy the "embed" line and paste it directly in the body of your blog. Have fun!!!

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  9. I'm a fan of situational humor--the disastrous dinner party, the day that goes comically wrong. There's a lot of humor in everyday life.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  10. I'm so glad y'all have enjoyed the video! It really touched me too!

    Keli, thanks for sharing about your daughter. I'm so glad she heard it from the other room and was able to come in and hear it!

    Wendy! Ha! Great minds, eh? That's really fun! I love the video you chose, though. I'm so glad they finally made a movie of that story!

    Just Be Real, thanks so much for coming by! It's really nice to meet you! I look forward to getting to know you!

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  11. Oh, that is fun, Elizabeth! It's really fun to write, too!

    Jody--you're welcome! I hope it leads to an awesome writing session for you!

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  12. Your welcome, but it was all Anne, lol.
    I have lots of light and humorous moments in my YA novel's. My MC brings them on naturally and I have to say, I've laughed out loud more than once during edits.

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  13. One thing I've noticed about humor..."random specificity." Oddball things, like randomly naming food products, that sort of thing...

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  14. First, I love laughing that gives me an ab work-out--and I could use a lot of them too.

    As to writing funny, I have trouble with that too. If something comes out of the ordinary then that usually raises a brow for me, or a chuckle sometimes. Mostly it's tone though, that I notice in books, I'm still trying to figure it all out.

    Thanks for sharing this skit, Kristen! It is really thought provoking, and perfect for just before conference with all those conflicting feelings running through me. "God doesn't make junk." That's a powerful statement. Thanks again for sharing!

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  15. I don't think I write funny, and I'm not at all a funny or sarcastic person. But I def. like to laugh. Really loud, and I love it when my abs start to hurt. :-)

    I think humor is a gift for sure, and being able to write it is also a gift.

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  16. I don't intentionally add humor, but sometimes situations are just funny and I always add them to my books!

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  17. It is the twist that works best when I try to write humor. Like how Stephen King said, "I have the heart of a boy. It's in a jar on my desk." I'm better w/ that kind of humor as opposed to the silly, giggly kind.

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  18. Haha! Tess, that really made me laugh! I love twists like that!

    I'm really enjoying hearing what everyone finds to be the best way to write humor! Thanks, friends!

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  19. You were right. I really enjoyed this, Kristen. Thanks for sharing it today!

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  20. Whoa. this video is amazing. Really spoke to me. My beliefs often cloud God's truth about me. Humor - when I'm tired I have the greatest laughs with my best friend. Whatever pops out of our mouths - we crack up. It feels great. Stay safe. Sarah

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  21. I find so many things to be humorous, at times the hard part for me is to be serious enough! I think humor has been my way of dealing with dtress for many years.

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  22. I so agree, Jungle Mom. Humor brings balance to my life like nothing else can. If I can laugh about something, then my stress or discouragement isn't as bad as it could be--and that's encouraging to me!

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  23. Humor helps grease the wheels of life. I don't know where I would be without the ability to laugh during some tough times. I like what you said about timing and truth. Both essential ingredients.

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  24. I can't write humor at all-- I think because it is so easy to write it badly and then you are more embarrassed than writing something else.

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  25. I don't think that I'm a particularly funny person, but when people laugh it's usually because the filter didn't kick in and I said something I shouldn't've said. If I do intend to be funny, I try to poke fun at myself so I won't offend anyone.

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  26. I got to see the Skit Guys this summer at DCLA. They are great and make you see things in a new light.

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