Following on from my last post, when I wondered what made you laugh (knowing that my silly clip makes most of you smile, at least, proves nothing - except maybe to show that we share a sense of humour), I thought I might ponder on how to write funny. (I know, sometimes my grammar is dreadful.)
I can only speak for myself - so I'd be interested to know how anyone else tackles this.
I find it extraordinarily hard to make myself laugh. I see why so many comic writers work in pairs - they set each other up. What is wonderfully ridiculous when bounced between the two of them might be flat and uninteresting when looked at alone.
For a start, I rarely set out to be funny - so if I manage to amuse myself it's a surprise. And I've found from my writing group that things that I hadn't realised were funny are worth sniggering over only if I hear someone giggling when I read something. I don't write jokes: unintentionally comic phrases slip into my work without me attending to them. Like worms, they eat their way in. For instance, I have a piece about sharing a room with a rat in Laos - an incident which stretched my sense of humour to the limit but which had someone chortling when I read it to him.
Having said that, there are a few pieces that set out to be funny - such as a poem about squat toilets, and the blogpost about my singing washing machine. I suppose I think they have comic value in themselves, and only need me to put that into words - I am the conduit of the humour rather than the origin of it.
But there I get stuck. So, my writing friends, do you set out to be funny? And, if so, are you willing to share a tip or two? (Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all begin the day with a good guffaw!)