Wednesday, September 11, 2013

That one deserves a faint grin

Humor. Say the word and I'll say "Really funny," but that's sarcasm, not laughter.

I can't figure it out.

Some people tell me I'm funny. Others say I have no sense of humor. The difference seems to be in whether or not I laugh at their jokes rather than whether they laugh at mine.

It is just so odd. At times I can make sarcastic or snide comments and people fall out of their chairs. Other times "That was a joke" becomes a survival statement. Have you ever experienced dead silence in a chat room? And catching other people's humor? I can tell they're joking but half the time I can't figure out why. Nor can they figure out my jokes, which seem absolutely hilarious to me. If I'm not sure the humor will be taken as such, I use smileys. In person I laugh at my own jokes so that people will know it's a joke. Survival, again.

It's rather funny (to me) to say something totally serious and have people say I have a great sense of humor. Alternatively, it's amusing to post something I thought was funny and get no response at all. Then they change the subject. It's one of those "How am I supposed to respond to this?" moments.

So I don't try to write humor for other people. If I think it's funny, great. My only concern would be people thinking something was funny in a book when humor would ruin the moment...

I wonder if being a mind-reader would help?

I doubt it.

So here's a segment from my newest book, with a tentative release date of October 1. Previously called Family Honor, the title has reverted to the original of Dark Spirit. Do you think it's funny? Why or why not? I spent half an hour laughing after I wrote this. The MC has just come from work, a tense confrontation with her brother, and a murder scene where she was a witness.

Inga finished reprogramming, and incidentally changed the code. She'd tell Gin what the code was the next time she saw her. "I'm boring because I'm busy earning money for rent. Speaking of which." She put her hands on her hips and glared.

It was a good glare. Terri shifted uneasily. "Daddy hasn't sent me the money yet."

"You got the money a week ago. You waved the statement in my face, remember? Then you went shopping. You pay your rent or you're out."

"You can't do that." Terri bounced up, trying to be imposing. The image was ruined by her swaying sideways. Drunk again. She caught herself with a hand on the wall. "You can't do that. Daddy'll sue."

"Daddy can sue all he wants, but if you don't pay your rent we're all out. Tell Daddy to send your rent directly to the apartment manager. That will solve the problem." She pushed past Terri, ignoring the woman's furious complaints, and fell on her bed face-down.

She breathed through the pillow for a moment. Could anything happen to make this night worse?

Yes, she decided. Getting arrested would make the night worse.

The doorbell rang.

Screaming into her pillow wouldn't help.

Instead she pulled it over her head. If it was for her she'd hear about it, and if not Terri could deal with it.

Murmuring voices. Inga turned her head, trying to hear through the pillow, then pulled it off in time to hear Terri carol "Inga, it's for you!"

Oh. No.


  1. Humor is a tough one to get when missing tone and body language. Your dry wit is lost too often in the chat room. Those nuances are so important for meaning.

    Thanks for this. This is something I need to make sure the emphasize for Torn Canvas. lol

    1. Wow! Dry wit! :)

      Something to be aware of in every book. I'm just never sure when my "humor" is coming across to others.

  2. They do say humour is the hardest thing to capture in writing. Best of luck with that Lauren. X

    Shah X

  3. I didn't think it was 'funny' exactly. But then I'm not a good judge as I have Asperger Syndrome which either means I have no sense of humor or that I laugh insanely at all the wrong stuff. It's got conflict and it's interesting, though. And, by the way, I LOVE the old German text for your blog background. I can actually read that old German script because when I was a teen learning German the only German language books I could find were old books in that old font that used to be standard for German (until Hitler changed it.)

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I've 'followed' your blog.

    1. You have a sense of humor--it's just not exactly like everyone else's. And that's a good thing.

      Glad you like the text.

  4. Replies
    1. Ha Ha it was funny, or haha keep trying? JK :)