Although this is a short article (because I’ve got to watch something on TV in about fifty minutes) that is meant to help you write comedy fiction, make funny comics etc… I’ll probably be spending a fair amount of it talking about my own writing and art.
No, I’m not – to use one of Rowan Atkinson’s brilliant rhymes– being a “trucking banker” here, it’s just that this is the best way to explain what I mean by “humour as a perspective”.
Anyway, I haven’t written any comedy fiction in quite a while and I haven’t even made a regular humourous webcomic since last year, it isn’t like I haven’t made anything funny. It’s just that the comedy in my work tends to be a bit more subtle and spontaneous. Even when I don’t really think about writing comedy, it just kind of appears.
It’s in the sarcastic comments I make below the screenshots in my computer game reviews, it’s in some of the little sketches at the beginnings of these articles, it appears occasionally when I try to write something “serious” and it can sometimes appear when I’m practicing my art by trying to copy an old painting:
And, well, all of this has made me see writing comedy in a slightly different way to how I used to. In many ways, I’ve come to see humour (or subtle humour at least) as a perspective more than anything else.
Although laugh-out-loud comedy usually has to be carefully planned in advance, subtle comedy is an entirely different beast altogether. You can’t really “plan” subtle comedy in advance, it’s just something that emerges from you if you have a cynical enough mind and/or a strange enough perspective on the world.
So, if you want to add a bit of humour to something, then just look at your own opinions about everything. Chances are, if you’re the kind of person who is dissatisfied enough with the world to want to create something better with words and/or pictures on a regular basis, then you’re probably going to have some interesting opinions about things.
And, let’s face it, some of those cynical opinions are probably going to be at least slightly funny. Of course, some of them probably aren’t (eg: they might come across as depressing, miserable controversial and/or just bitter) – so be careful. In fact, if you want to keep your cynicism funny then mostly restrict it to more trivial topics, like this:
Even if you just create things purely for the fun of it and you aren’t a bitter and twisted cynic like myself, then you still have a slightly different perspective on the world to non-creative people.
No, I’m not being a pompous elitist here, I’m just stating a fact. If you re-create the world on paper and/or on a computer screen on a regular basis, then you’ll have to think about it a lot more and/or observe it a lot more.
As such, you’re more likely to notice funny things, inconsistencies, little hypocrisies, strange things etc… than most people probably won’t. And, yes, you can get a lot of good comedy out of these things.
Sorry for such a short article (what? I’m writing this two months in the past and the first episode of the new series of “Doctor Who” is about to begin), but I hope that it was useful 🙂