Who likes the jokes?!?!?!
I likes the jokes!!!!!
Ok, let’s do something that’s a little more fun than being a ‘serious’ writer.
I tend to find the comedy in all situations. To quote my father, “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.” Therefore, I try to fit comedy into all of my writing, and consequently the rest of my life.
We see this all over Science Fiction too. Comedy permeates such episodes of Star Trek as ‘The trouble with Tribbles”, all of the Star Wars movies, Doctor Who, and the list goes on and on and on….
Comedy is what makes something likeable, loveable.
Case in point: Firefly.
Firefly has dramatic moments, political undertones, and all sorts of commentary on society, but do you know what sticks in my mind about the show?
Jayne’s hat. And Vera. And Mal’s whit.
The funny things.
And it’s no secret that ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is one of my favorite sitcoms. They take scifi comedy to the next level! (you can hate me for that, but the show is really funny and my wife loves it too. As with the card game Citadels…)
So let’s talk about jokes:
1. Make it appropriate
An out of context joke is like watching a train wreck. It’s terrible, but you can’t look away. So use the context to make a good joke. If you’re hero (or anti-hero) is stuck in a dire situation, a joke about a trip to San Francisco is in order. Or about never marrying. Or something like that. It’s funny.
2. Make it accessible
I have a wife, whom I adore. We have several inside jokes. If I make these jokes in my stories, NO ONE WILL KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. If you have an inside joke with someone, it’s probably not ok for public consumption. Stay away from these things in your writing.
3. Other SciFi is always open for fun!
If you take yourself too seriously, you shouldn’t be an artist. Art, occasionally gets made fun of. Not always in a demeaning way. Take the show Castle. Nathan Fillion is the lead, he was also the lead in the aforementioned Firefly. In a Halloween episode of Castle, he dressed up as his character, Mal Reynolds, and even referenced his role in Firefly. There are several other things he’s done in reference to the show, but you get the idea. If we can learn to reference things in fun and not take it seriously, it will make everything funnier.
4. Make fun of yourself
Make fun of what you’re writing inside of the story. I wrote a terrible novel and in it I make fun of some of the ideas that I present. Because they’re ridiculous! If I can’t make fun of my ridiculous ideas, then they aren’t worth writing down. Learn not to take yourself so seriously. I love hard scifi, but sometimes it gets on my nerves and I have to stop reading or watching. Laughter directed at your own work can be a wonderful thing!
I hope this helps you out a little. I know that being able to laugh at myself and other things is a great joy, and it makes me actually like writing. So let’s all start laughing!