What do Aldous Huxley and Elmore Leonard have in common? Why do most successful writers employ humor in significant ways to enhance their work? Writing Humor answers these questions and more. While it cannot give you a sense of humor, the book teaches you to perfect the one you have using practical techniques. Through analysis of published works, it demonstrates how writers develop humorous situations and characters. From Dave Barry's exaggerations, to the dark humor of Joseph Heller, to the carefully plotted episodes of Cheers, the reader will learn to define elements that made these funny and to put them to work in their own writing.
Writing Humor will also teach different types of humor (satire, comedy of manners, parody) and suggest which type is appropriate for the reader's work. The book will also emphasize the difference between humor writing and jokes. This distinction sets the book apart, as humor plays an important part in much literature that has endured while jokes disappear quickly.
The writer will learn to develop comic lead characters, narrative comic voice, and for the serious novelist seeking comic relief, the humorous incidental character or humorous interlude. Television or movie scriptwriters will learn, via interviews with successful writers and actual script samples, the techniques they used.