Monday, March 14, 2011

Laugh with the Characters

            “Captain Richard Francis Burton,” Poe reported, seeing before his eyes the handwritten files he had memorized in Richmond.  “Soldier, swordsman, linguist, explorer.  A dangerous man and almost a famous one.  Author of several books, inventor of a dueling maneuver, arguably discoverer of the sources of the Nile and erstwhile ersatz hajji.”
            The dwarf shook his head irritably.  “You throw me with the big words, boss.  I could a swore you jest called that feller an arsehole horse hat sod gee, but that don’t make no damn kinda sense.”
*   *   *
I try to be funny.  I don't mean that I write jokebooks, but I enjoy reading a book punctuated with humorous moments, so I try to write that way.  My go-to style of funny is situational humor within the story world.  In other words, none of the characters is deliberately cracking a joke, but a character standing by in the scene might observe the goings-on and laugh.

The snippet above is from Project Beta.  A pair of diplomats-saboteurs-spies discuss one set of their rivals.

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