Good, Clean Fun
We all love some good, clean fun from time to time, I want to hear YOUR take on humor and how to keep it both clean and funny! Join whenever!
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The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I can't BELIEVE I forgot satire! Is a satire like a parody? I guess, kinda. ... I'm not to sure of what a satire is myself, I just know that the movie (and presumably the book also) Emma is one and I thought it was super funny! But can anyone better explain what a satire is, or even just start another topic if you want! I'm TOTALLY willing to talk here!

4/2/2008 #31
R.E.D. the animator

I'm not quite sure what Satire is. According to the FictionPress dictionary satire is some kind of old fashoned poetry that makes fun of people (Like the author's enemies) with ironies and snapy remarks.

4/2/2008 #32
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, according to dictionary.reference.com satire means

1. The use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.

So it's kinda like what R.E.D. the animator was talking about with the narrator making fun of their charaters, only it's not because they are acting predicatably, it's just ... cause he/she can! Isn't it fun to make fun of people that don't exist!

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/3/2008 #33
Eurochild

My prefered way of trying to be funny is to basically make light of everything, mixing in a little sarcasm along the way. It's difficult to describe, but my sense of humour has been described as dry, warped and also satirical.

I'm not completely sure what dry humour is though.

Also, I find the creation of wacky ideas to be an interesting way to get a cheap laugh, for example; a world where "a good explorer does not do a single bit of exploring. The best explorers have good looks, a captivating charisma, an ego the size of a large planet, an incredible imagination and the ability to lie through their back teeth so to speak."

And also, as we have learnt from Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchet; language is everything. You have to write down your sentences in a certain way that is very much different than normal.

For example, we could change: "Terence winced and groaned in pain as the large gentleman squeezed his hand firmly in handshake."

into: "The large gent squeezed Terence's hand slightly too vigorously, causing the young man to wince ad make small noises in the back of throat that almost sounded like 'ouch' but wasn't quite of the same calibre of 'ouch'. it was in fact more of an 'ooooh' sound, the sort noise one makes whilst one is indeed in pain, yet not in quite so much pain that one is tempted to call out 'ouch!' in a way that all and sundry can hear, and know that one is experienceing some slight discomfort in the form of unbearable and immense torture."

And so the possibilities with the language is endless, you could drag out one small thing, but it doesn't get boring because of the way it is written. And there are several side jokes crammed into the slightly larger father joke.

And by the way, if I screw up with posting this, it's because I'm new and don't have a bloody clue what I'm doing. I am staring, at this moment, at a big blue button that reads 'submit reply' If this button does submit this writing, then a kitten shall be born. However, I am worried that this button may in fact read something like 'activate supernova device' in which case, if I press it we are all doomed. I beg of you not to blame me if I bring upon us the world of armagedon in the form of a badly submited forum piece, instead one must blame it upon my more destructive personailty who may be hiding the true meaning of the blue blue button from my poor short sided eyes.

4/6/2008 #34
asylum writer

I think dry humor is when the person delivering the humor acts like they're not doing or saying anything remotely funny. They don't laugh or smile, which just makes it funnier for everyone else.

I agree, Eurochild, language is important - one of my favorite examples is A Series of Unfortunate Events. I've never read anything else written in the same style as those books.

4/7/2008 #35
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, Wikipedia defines dry humor as being "deadpan" or something humorous being delivered in a monotone ... tone. And I know a few people who have a dry sense of humor and I guess that definition makes sense. And this can compute with the second issue that's under discussion: language or tone. You cannot write a story in monotone, per sec, but you can write using dry humor because of the magic of the "tone" you use when you write. What tone you use is told to the reader through how the story is written, in it's language. Now, I haven't read A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I have read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and often he used a dry sense of humor when he described the guillotine as a barber's instrument just giving a "close shave" was certainly a very dark and dry sense of humor.

Speaking of which, I know I have a dark sense of humor! It's something when a pyschyatrst asks you if you have written anything dark and you birst out laughing! (true story) (See chapters 2 and 4 of My 55word Stories in my account for good examples of dark humor.)

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/13/2008 #36
Eclipsia Soulbird

I think humor is at it's best when people can relate to the situation happening in the story. Something embarrassing that happened to you, that's happened to everybody -- but you don't realize it's happened to everybody until you tell it in a story and somebody reviews saying "OHMYGOSH! THAT HAPPENED TO ME!" And then you can both laugh about it. As long as somebody else is laughing, it's funny.

I like that there's layers to humor, more like a cake than an onion. There's simple humor, which is the frosting. There's light yet detailed humor, which is the white cake mix. Then there's dark or "black" in-depth humor, which is the chocolate cake mix. It's all funny (and tasty), just on different levels.

What I liked about "Comedy of Grammatical Errors" was that I make tons of grammatical errors, and I have funny thoughts when I notice them, and so it was funny to see someone else's thoughts on the same things I think about. You know?

Am I making any sense to anyone besides myself?

4/15/2008 #37
R.E.D. the animator

I think I understand what you mean by, humor that people can relate to. Like in Shrek and espeasialy in Shrek 2, where the adventures take place in medevil times but it still has tons of stuff that we have today. Such as the drive through resuarant, and the Starbucks etc.

4/16/2008 #38
Trisana Tennant

I'm writing a story for a friend's birthday. It's in a place where the ages are opposite. Take you and your parents for instance. They would be your age and you would be theirs. To me that's funny. My charaters are all people from school. A fifth grader is the grandmother, her sons are nith and tenth graders, and the ninth grader's daughter is a 12th grader. With the humor at my school, that would be funny.

4/16/2008 #39
A Kind of Nostalgia

Something that entertains me (and that I like to write about) are ridiculously simple things turned complicated. For example, in a school writing assignment I have made solving a Rubiks Cube a fearsome battle of blinding colors, wits, patience, and longing. In a descriptive essay I once wrote about describing an animal's movements, I made a house cat playing with a rubber mouse at night seem like a wild animal about to devour helpless prey (Ironically that cat's name was Tiger) A story I have posted, my only story, (Writer's block and homework _') tells the tale of an overthinker named Omie who turns going to see the movies into a life or death situation. There might be a name for that.....exagerating?

My other favorite thing to write about is what I believe is called a farce. A story I am entering in a contest is about a girl who tells a lie to get money becomes a district-wide disaster as each lie builds on another....dun-dun-dun.

I think randomness can only take you so far in humor. At some point or another, you're going to need to have some real humor. You can have a story about a dancing potato for one or two chapters, then there has to be some type of intellectual schmilp. Am I making any sense whatsoever?

4/16/2008 #40
R.E.D. the animator

Yes, that does make sense and actually you made a good point. If you want to write a short one-shot, then a dancing potato is great! But if you want to write a long story with many chapters, then you're going to need a plot to tie all your randomness to. Kind of like tying little bits string to a metal wire. At first glance, it's totally random but then you realize that it follows an organized path which makes the story more entertaining, makes the jokes funnier and overall makes it a better read.

4/16/2008 #41
Zoromaru

Reminds me of one of my sister's manga, she has a lot of humor in it. Most of it connected to two characters. One a total airhead fox who keeps saying odd things. (its set in the days of sword and honor) and a character who is about 200 years old and is only four feet tall.(he turns into a eight foot giant when he goes into battle.) But she keeps putting other bits in, like on the first page if you look close enough you'll see the foxes' tail poking out of a brush, while the main character is walking home. She started the story for just the comedy but she started adding serious bits. A story should be balanced, with serious moments and funny moments. Just like life, it makes it more fun and entertaining to read. I think the best humor comes from things that actually happened. Yeah it would be funny to read a story about potatos. But I think thats that can happen in real life is more interesting.

4/16/2008 #42
A Kind of Nostalgia

I apologize for using bold font, but my computer is being whacko at the moment and won't let me type unless I use a special font. :I. Anyhoot, I agree with Zoromaru, sort of. If I want to settle down in a cozy corner or something and read a nice long book, I don't want it to be about a dancing potato. Well, maybe. Eh. Well, it would need an awesome plot, like R.E.D. said. But, if I want a short, quick random laugh then I will most likely go for the potato, because I'm not going to want to read a 560 page novel about a sarcasticly funny sadistic mentally unbalanced person about to die

4/16/2008 #43
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I think this all really comes back to what we were talking about before with the whole taking a cliche and twisting it, not to mention there are only so many things you can do with/to a dancing potato (which is kind of an odd train of thought). But people want to read about characters that they can relate to and yet whose lives are somewhat worse than their's (I don't think that that is a wild assumption) so if you take even a vegetable (or is it really a starch?) you need to humanize it so that people can realate to it and then you torture it until it is mashed. ... But I prefer humans, they heal faster. So can we maybe forget about the whole "dancing potato" thing now? If I think about it much more, I'm gonna have nightmares about carnivous, dancing potatos. ...

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/18/2008 #44
R.E.D. the animator

Carnivous dancing potatos? I loved that moive! Came out in the 1940s I think. The acting was ehh... but the acton was totally BA, if that's possible in a 1940s film.

4/18/2008 #45
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

O...kay, I don't know what "BA" means other than "Bachelor of Arts" but okay. Now what we were actually talking about way, WAY, back when was simply things turned complicated as used for humor. I've read some stuff like this and it's pretty funny, but you have to chose your simply thing wisely. If you chose, say, your day and you write it full of hyperbolesand stuff people might not get it if they don't know you so you have to generalise a little. For instance, I work with horses A LOT but some things the average person just wouldn't get. An example of that would be if I took a perfectly normal ride and make it into something like,

"The gelding cantered a cautious left-lead around the twenty meter circle, but his rider's aids would not relent! He refused to relax his decolletage and lower his head. And then, suddenly, out of the blue, and all that jazz, he made a canter-trot transition! His rider furiously induced him to make a trot-canter transition, but, alas, he was in the wrong lead! What a fiasco! ..."

Wow, I feel really melodramtic after writing that, but that's the point! But if I took something less complicated or better known to the common man, it would be easier for reader to, well, read.

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/18/2008 . Edited 6/27/2008 #46
Zoromaru

Puns, every read any of the Xanth books by Piers Anthony? They're an example of humor, that is understood by many. But puns become outdated and mostly deal with a certain language. Like Shakespeare, there are many puns in his plays that we (the common readers) do not get today. His puns dealt with old English too.

4/19/2008 #47
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, I pity the person who's job it is to translate a book full of puns. And I'm now reading Romeo and Juliet for school so I know what you mean, sometimes the notes in the margins (they explain things like puns) make me even more confused than the actual play! But I still can't help but use puns, everything has cons and I highly doubt that anyone will ever have to translate any of my work into another language (excluding possbly ASL, but that's ... different). But just like with the over-complication thing, puns can be overdone and the reader can be confused. Now I've read stories where the author just went all out and did everything they could and I ended up getting really anoyed that I had to tell them their story wasn't very good because I couldn't even tell what the basic plot was. So puns are great to add to punch lines or in the occasional dialouge, but putting them everywhere in a story will result in readers going mad, mad I tell you!

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/21/2008 #48
R.E.D. the animator

I generaly try to avoid puns since I value them as one of the poorest kinds of humor, and by that I mean that it applies to the lowest possible denominator. Non intellectual if you know what I mean.

4/21/2008 #49
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

I couldn't agree with you less. Writing a good pun proves something coming from an author. And by that I mean that it isn't just something you can sit down and think about, you have to wait for it to come to you. If you don't believe me read Meet the Rodentia Family and I'll prove to you that it takes smarts to write puns. Speaking of which, that story is a good example of how to use puns sparingly but you have to go into it with some other humor up your sleeve. That is not saying that puns are bad, it's just saying that they are better for grand finales then for constant use.

4/22/2008 #50
R.E.D. the animator

True. I will agree that puns do have their place where they are good to use. Puns are a great way to get a laugh But ultumately, a joke with a pun will get old really fast.

4/22/2008 #51
Trisana Tennant

Yes. Take Abbott and Costello's Who's on First. I love it to death, but it gets old after a while. "You know what?" "No, but I heard he was a good second baseman." or the other responce. " No, but I know his brother why." why and what weren't brothers. they were team mates. Jokes getting old. it's really annoying.

4/23/2008 #52
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah I guess I understand what you mean, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't write with puns. I mean, yeah, you can only hear "You remind me of a man ..." so many times before you go crazy, but it's kinda a classic. Just like cliches, we all try to avoid cliche "happily ever after" endings, but if someone hadn't written the story to begin with, a lot of things would be different (especially in the writing world)! So maybe puns do get overused (I am fully aware of that) but they are still my favorite.

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

PS: I really hope that no one sees this as mean or degrading, but this is my openion and as much as I LOVE hearing your's it probably won't change mine.

4/24/2008 #53
R.E.D. the animator

Too late, I'm offended! Not really. But still, there are some puns that have been used so much that they're not even funny in a humorous sense. Like Darth Vader's "Luke, I am your father." That has been reused so many times that it's not even funny! (No offense Double AA (actualy, you were able made that work))

My favorite kind of humor is the kind that is suddly inserted into a serious plot. Like in Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, The Cronicles of Narnia, and Grimms Fairy Tales.

4/24/2008 #54
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, that's true. But "Luke, I am your father." wasn't a pun it was a plot twist and it's cliches like that that I was talking about rewriting a while ago. So yeah, Double AA's thing is an AWESOME fractured fairytale-ish story that I think we should all read and can learn something from.

But I do believe that some jokes can be overused to the point where they aren't even funny anymore, but that's just part of our culture (There's tons of stuff having to do with "The Godfather", "Rocky", "Star Trek", etc. that doesn't even make sense out of context, but people still say it!).

So forgive me if you, the author of "An Experiment in Character Driven Plot", didn't strike me as someone who was into this mythical serious humor. And seeing as I've only ever read one of the series that you mentioned (The Chronicles of Narnia) I kinda get what you mean, but if someone gets it more, I'd prefer them to explain.

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/24/2008 #55
Double AA

Wow! I don't even subscribe to this forum and I get mentioned. I guess now is a good time to start. Something thing that I think is funny, if written right, is when you have silly characters doing silly things in a serious manner, or the reverse serious characters doing serious things in a silly manner. I'd give you an example, but I don't think I could do it justice. Am I making any sense?

4/24/2008 #56
R.E.D. the animator

This might seem a bit off topic, but I just remembered where I've heard that word antidisestablishmentarianism before! It was in a YouTube music video by Neil Cicerega. Like I said, just a random bit of information.

4/25/2008 #57
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, that is random, but it made me laugh so it proves that random humor works. ...

And I guess what you were talking about the last time you review with the "serious" humor would be similar to dry humor? Because that's like the definition of "deadpan", but if that's not what you were talking about ... I'M LOST!

And thirdly, Double AA, yeah, I get what you mean, it like in ... Elf when he's doing stuff that looks totally weird, but with a perfectly straight face (except for the creepy smile). But I'm still not sure that I get the serious character doing the serious thing in a silly way, or do you mean like a character trying to hold it together through the chaos (e.g. The Pacifier) and when everything falls apart it's hilarious? Idk.

Write on!

Pen.Dragon

4/25/2008 #58
Trisana Tennant

Another funny thing for me is the ending of alot of episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. Usually McCoy and Kirk are gathered on the bridge and is teasing Spock, who takes it all so seriously. Or when Spock's insulting them without knowing it and when they reply he insists on leaving. Such as the Devil in the Dark in season one.

Yay! Almost two years of being on this site!

4/25/2008 . Edited 4/25/2008 #59
The.Wizard.Pen.Dragon

Yeah, the sad thing is my brother probably has that episode on his computer *shudders*, I can't stand Star Trek, but I've been forced into it because of my family!

But yeah, I understand, kinda, what you mean, but I have to refuse to watch the episode just be I'm allergic to girlie guys wearing heels and corsets. So does this go along with what Double AA was talking about, cause Spock is probably the best know serious character out there!

(Congrats! Only like ten more days until you get the HIGHEST rank possible in all the FP forums!)

4/25/2008 #60
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