Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Blogger Trish Perry talks HUMOR

You may have been told you can’t learn to write humor, that you must be born with the gift. That ain’t a fact, Jack. That’s what “they” used to say about writing in general, but plenty of us have worked hard to learn the craft and to do it well. Some of us might still stink at it just a wee bit, but we carry valiantly on. Why? Because we know we can hone the craft and make it sharp. The same goes with humor writing.

Of course, if you don’t tend to see humor in any of your life experiences, you should probably stick with the serious stuff. Not all novels allow for humor, and that’s fine. It’s been years since I read The Silence of the Lambs, but I’m still willing to guess there wasn’t much room for yuks in that one. Still, many of us would like to punch up our novels, even our serious ones, with a bit of humor here and there. Some of us want most of our novel to make our readers laugh. But how?

I don’t have room here to share as much as I would like, but let me list a few pointers that might help, overall.

Get Yourself in the Mood

Gear yourself to hear “funny” when it happens in real life. So much happens and is said around us that is hilarious. But we don’t notice the humor until an observant writer or performer points it out, as do observational humorists like Dave Barry, George Carlin, and Jerry Seinfeld. Now that I know I want to capture real-life humor for my books, I’ll enjoy an observation or an exchange with someone that made me laugh, and then a few seconds later, I’ll say, “I have to put that in a book.” And out comes the notepad. You know about keeping a notepad handy, right? Don’t trust your memory with humorous moments. Like swordfish and guacamole, funny moments are always best when they’re fresh.

Read funny novels and watch well-written comedy films and television shows, especially right before you start writing. Just as the fragrance of tasty food makes your mouth water, reading or watching humor makes your creative juices flow. (Yes, I am writing this at lunchtime, so I’m a little preoccupied with food.) What you’re inspired to write will differ from whatever you read, see, or hear. But you’ll be drawn into the mood and frame of mind necessary to be a funny author.

Use Humor to Develop Your Characters and Plot

The most effective humor in fiction is that used to further the development of your characters, your plot, or both. If your heroine is a physical knockout but has a self-effacing sense of humor, we can’t help but like her, even if she has a 24-inch waist. If your hero and heroine share an inside joke with one another in the middle of a well-populated scene—something strictly between the two of them (and us, of course)—their intimacy develops before our very eyes. Ooo la la! And if your heroine’s toy pug relieves himself on the gorgeous Italian loafers worn by the handsome stranger with her in the elevator, both characters’ reactions from that point on not only move the plot forward, they show us much about each character.

Allow your secondary characters to have funny lines, too. Would you rather watch a tennis pro practice against a wall or play a match with another player? The back-and-forth is what it’s all about. If you’ve developed your novel’s characters fully enough, each of them will end up with his or her own style of humor, just as people do in real life. The verbal volleys will enhance entire scenes, not just your heroine’s image. And you’ll add a realism to your dialogue that can’t exist if your heroine is the only witty character in the story.

Humor can bring poignancy to painful scenes, if your character uses humor to try to defuse a situation, mask real emotion, or hide weaknesses too difficult to admit head on. This is especially effective if the reader knows the real score, but the novel’s characters are somewhat in the dark.

Beware the Wrong Use of Humor

Jokes are for the opening of your pastor’s sermon or Uncle Bud’s grand entrance at the family reunion. They don’t work in novels. A few years ago I read a novel in which the author used amusing church-marquee announcements to pull laughter from the reader. Not only did the writing read like an oft-forwarded email, it fell flatter than Charlie Sheen’s television career. The same blah effect comes from characters who tell actual jokes, rather than characters who say funny things about what they’re experiencing, because of how they think.

Unless it’s coming out of the mouth of your bad guy, tread lightly in using mean-spirited, sarcastic, or belittling humor. I’ve had my heroine and hero spouting sarcastic barbs in the heat of an argument, but I’ve forced them to make nice later. I don’t want to portray my protagonists as perfect, but ultimately they must be likeable. My Charlie Sheen comment, above, wasn’t all that kind, but I’m not one of my characters. You don’t have to like me all that much. You simply have to accept every word I say as fact, Jack.


Even though my March release, Unforgettable (Summerside Press/Guideposts), focuses on romance, betrayal, insecurities, and political corruption, a reader would be hard pressed to read it and not feel they had just read a humor novel.

If you bear in mind the pointers above, you can add the spice of humor to many different plotlines and provide an enriched experience for your reader.

What example of literary humor have you experienced in your reading, writing, or even film viewing? (Movie scripts are written, too!) I’ll send a signed copy of Unforgettable to someone who answers below.

Bio: Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written eight inspirational romances for Harvest House Publishers, Summerside Press, and Barbour Publishing, as well as two devotionals for Summerside Press. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She holds a degree in Psychology.

Trish’s novel, Unforgettable, released in March, and Tea for Two released in April. She invites you to visit her at


CarolM said...

Let's see... I'm attempting rom com. It feels like a natural fit for me which is nice. If I could be Mary Connealy [with a big helping of Julie Lessman, some Ruth Logan Herne and Deeanne Gist thrown in] when I grow up, I'd be a happy camper. So...

Read funny...

That's where Mary Connealy and Ruth Logan Herne come in. And I read a rom com from Revell this weekend... Argh. Can't place the author but um... Fools Rush In. Loved it [and on the Loop today they said there's four more related books on the way :D].

Missy's actually the one who pointed out the funny in me. Or one of the ones. But her comment on my blog one day is the one that really made me think.

I've been sick the last few days and not writing which is probably good as a friend said my emails have lacked 'fizz'. I'm guessing the writing would have too. But it does remind me that I need to get my 5 pages to Tina and soon for a crit...

We watched Fever Pitch tonight. Lots of funny because I know some guys like Jimmy Fallon's character and his friends. Not funny because the Sox beat my Cards in the Series. That part's always a bummer.

Panera spread set out for anyone who wants some!

I need a nap...

carol at carolmoncado dot com

bigguysmama said...

Trish you are one of my favorite authors and you can get me laughing out loud like nobody's business! Same goes for my daughter when she reads your books. We ♥ ya!


Natalie said...

One example of humor on film that I've enjoyed over and over is the witty comedy between Cary Grant and Debora Kerr in "An Affair to Remember." A couple of others I watch again and again for the comedy are "Friendly Persuasion" and "White Christmas." Gotta love those old movies. :)

I saw "Unforgettable" on and read the description, now I can't wait to read it. I LOVE reading about the 1950s era. Thank you for the wonderful post!

simmadar at yahoo dot com

Camy Tang said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Trish! Great post! My Love Inspired Suspense books don't have humor, but I love being able to add it to my Zondervan novels. It's really hard for me not to see the ridiculous in things, maybe because I used to love all the funny Japanese manga I read as a kid, and a lot of that humor is a bit of slapstick.

BTW I love that cover!


Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Trish!

I have so learned something today, thank you.

And your book cover is gorgeous, btw!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, Trish, darling, I love humor. I love making fun of people. Having fun with people, mostly at their expense.

Snarks R Us.

This is wonderful stuff! I think humor can be woven into most anything (Camy, think about all the funny romantic suspense stuff on TV...Bones...NCIS...Remington Steele (classic romantic suspense humor)... Burn Notice...)

I think that quick, funny repartee works great in romantic suspense and ups the ante because you identify with the hero and heroine on a different level. Not just caring about the danger, but laughing with them. Crying with them.

And Carol, thank you! Humbled by your praise and being thrown in with those great names! (shhh... don't tell 'em)

Trish, can you tell us a little more about Unforgettable? The minute I heard the title, the notes of music started in my brain, so how does the music play into the book? And tell me about the book? I love the connection.

Lisa Jordan said...

The Guy I'm Not Dating is the funniest book I've ever read. I laughed myself silly through the entire thing. And the scene in Sunset Beach when Tiff (I think that was her name) dropped her purse and certain personal items fell out. It's so stinkin' funny because we can relate to it.

I love well-written TV. For me, NCIS tops the list with the diverse cast and dry wit.

I'm not a funny, witty person, so it's very hard for me to write humor. In my current WIP, I have a sarcastic exchange to show my character's frustration, but they do make nice in the next paragraph.

Love the cover of your new book!

Whitney said...

Trish, your blog post and new book Unforgettable had me very interested. I’m a huge fan of the 1980’s television show Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and I’ve been re-watching some of them, and getting to watch others I’ve missed for the first time! I’ve fallen in love all over again. So when I read that the story is set in Arlington, VA and was a historical/political corruption/romance thing, and that you were/are a board member on Washington D.C.’s Capital Christian Writers, I was like, “all right!” lol. Anyway, thanks for the tips on adding humor to our stories!


Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Trish! I think some writers have a gift for humor. Sounds as if you're among those who took that gift and skillfully honed it to translate well to most readers! I think almost everyone would welcome a smile these days! I'll have to check out your books!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lisa, you're probably too nice to be funny.




I seriously think we should start a Snarks R Us group. Perhaps a self-help group. Except...

We ARE funny. Mostly. Kind of.

Hey, loving the Panera spread, Carol! Those stuffed croissants.... Oh my word, I'm in heaven!

Audra Harders said...

Good morning, Trish and welcome to Seekerville!

Humor definitely comes more naturally to some rather than others. I love reading novels where the honest, one-line opinions of the surly character catch everyone off guard and end up revealing their kind, inner soul with a laugh and a smile.

Ha! Gives hope to real life situations : )

Loved your post. Loved your cover.

Today will be a good day.

Audra Harders said...

Hmm, a CarolM original with touches of Mary, Ruthy, Julie and Deeanne skirting around in the background?? Wow. Now that would put a smile on anyone's face. Where do I pre-order???

Great Panera spread. I brought some incredible Southern Pecan coffee to go with it. Very happy Wednesday, guys!

Audra Harders said...

Ruthy, thank you for bringing up the NCIS crew. Made my day : )

Julie Lessman said...


For me as a writer and a reader, humor is SO very important. Since I write pretty emotional and romantically tense books, I think I would wear the reader out if I didn't inject a little humor throughout, so I try to do that with your point #2, Use Humor to Develop Your Characters and Plot.

I used to be funny once, when I was really young, but I don't consider myself funny anymore (quirky, yes, but not funny). But I have found the easiest way to make people smile is with really quirky or unusual characters, subordinate or main. In my Daughters of Boston series, the 2nd daughter, Charity O'Connor, begins as an evil vamp whom everybody hates. But I had SO much fun softening and redeeming her as the series went on, and the way I did that was with humor. Quips just roll off her sarcastic tongue, and the woman has me laughing out loud in almost every scene she is in in my upcoming release, A Heart Revealed, so much so that I can hardly believe I wrote it!!

So, I say that to say -- one does not necessarily have to be "funny" in real life to be able to create a "funny" character. Depicting real-life quirky characters who ARE as my mom used to say, "real characters," will usually bring a smile to a reader's lips ... or at least, it does to mine!

Great blog, Trish!


Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Trish,

Great topic! I love finding unexpected humour in a book. Anyone that can make me laugh out loud when I'm reading must be amazingly talented!

Add that to some tears, and you've got a winner!

Thanks for the post and good luck with your newest release!

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Melanie Dickerson said...

I've been looking forward to your post, Trish! Great advice.

I love putting humor in my books. But sometimes I wonder if my reader "gets" it. My Southern book is full of hilarious moments. At least, I think so. The heroine is extremely uptight. She's trying her best to keep from falling in love with the hero, but failing badly. It presents lots of funny possibilities. When the hero reaches out to brush her hair off her cheek, she steps backward and steps off the side of the front porch. The hero tries to keep her from falling, and they both fall, right into the flower bed. I think it's a really funny scene. The hero tries to make her think he's hurt, then they end up having their first kiss. When she comes to her senses, she tells him he canNOT court her. Then her sister asks her if she and Truett are courting.

Lizzie tried to pry some information out of her that night in bed. “Are you and Truett courting now?”
“No, we’re not courting. Go to sleep.”
“Why not, Claire? He likes you, I just know it!”
That’s a fair guess. He probably wouldn’t kiss a girl he didn’t like. “Go to sleep, Lizzie.”
“And you like him, too. I can tell.”
He could probably tell, too—right before I ordered him to never come near me again.
“You didn’t chase him away, did you, Claire?”

Melanie Dickerson said...

And right now, as I work on my WIP, I'm trying to figure out how a true Alpha male would react to a girl he barely knows insulting him. I'm hoping for humor, but I'd settle for plain tension.

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy, Sweetheart, Being nice is actually a plus if you want to be funny. imho.
I listen and smile and nod and say, "Can't we all just get along?"

When in truth I want to gnaw my leg off to escape whoever I'm talking with.

Then I go write mayhem laced with comedy.

It's a terrific release. A nice people are a boiling caldron inside.

Mary Connealy said...

And this popped into my head so I'll write it.
In action movies, they always have the comic throw away line in the midst of disaster. Things are spinning out of control. Explosions. Bleeding. Running. Gunfire.
And say.... Arnold arranges for the bad guy's limo to get left on a railroad track....with the bad guy inside of course.
The bad guy fights with the car door. Locked. The bad guy sees the oncoming train. Screams. The train slams into the car, fire, noise, explosions, flying car parts.
Someone says, "What happened to the bad guy?"
Arnold says, "He caught a train."

These throw-away lines are a break from the tension that makes it bearable. Tension can only go on for so long before a reader can't handle it anymore. So you toss in these 'stress reliever' lines, then go on your way exploding things.

Jan Drexler said...

Trish, thanks for the hints about humor! Now I'm inspired to try to work some into my writing.

My dear husband has a wit so dry it makes you thirsty just being around him. I have to remind him to control himself at the dinner table. Yes, let your imaginations go - four children...mashed potatoes... Our middle son used to end up on the floor at every meal. I was worried that he would pass out from laughing so hard!

I've been trying to capture DH's style on paper, but haven't gotten it yet. I'll need to spend another 29 years studying him, I guess.

Mary Connealy said...

Also, for me, there is a process to writing comedy. A scene, a gag line, often isn't just right the first time. You tweak, you lengthen, you change the set up.
One thing I do a lot if end a chapter with a hook. Then start the next chapter in a way that connects to the previous chapter.

"No, you're not going with me to town. I'm the head of this house and you'll mind me and that's that!"
End chapter

Begin chapter
She sat beside him on the buckboard.

And to do that, have that ending and beginning doesn't come naturally, I may have to back up and come at the end of the chapter in different ways before I find the exact right scene to end. That chapter ending line has to make sense after all.

Mary Connealy said...

And Trish, I meant to say this first. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Hi, Trish! I've been reading Dave Fessenden's book "Concept to Contract." Great non-fiction, how-to write book! Highly recommend it. Dave has a gentle, endearing sense of humor that comes through the entire book, making it an easy, enjoyable read. I'm NOT a non-fiction reader, but love this book.

I love it when a hero and heroine share in a private joke that wasn't at all funny when "it happened." You're so right about that! And what a great point about reading funny to get into the mood. Great tips! Thanks!

Pam, Mary, Audra, Melanie, thanks for the congrats from last night. :D

Pam, I did sign up through Netgalley. I re-requested it and added some info to my bio. We'll see if it comes through this time or not.

Sherri Shackelford said...

Wonderful post, Trish! I appreciate humor in books. It's an emotion, and that's what we're here for, right :)

Jan Drexler said...

Mary, you are a master at your craft! I can never stop reading your books at the end of a chapter. It would be like hearing a joke with no punch line, or a fugue without the resolution...

I spotted "Montana Marriages" trilogy at Walmart the other day!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary is really funny. She's even MORE Funny in person! Believe it or not. And it's very endearing how she worries that she might hurt someone's feelings with her wit. She never does, that I know of, but she worries about it. Mary is just an awesome person. And so is Ruthy. (Just thought I'd throw that in there! LOL! Now Ruthy can make a joke about what a suck-up I am!)

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Trish! Thanks for your excellent post! I use secondary characters to add humor and point out truths to my h/h, but haven't used humor much to mask emotion. Weird because I do that in my personal life.

Congratulations on your success. Unforgettable sounds like a must buy!


Mary Connealy said...

AND......DRUMROLL.....Tina is in the running to be the book of the month for the ACFW book club.
If you don't belong to the book club you can join easily and for free.

Go vote for Tina CLICK HERE

Tina Radcliffe said...

I agree, Mel. Mary is hilarious in person. She just deadpans like Bob Newhart.

She looks serious though which weirds you out.

Okay and I admit..Trish you look serious too. So I was I admit again surprised you were writing on humor.

Your books are next on my TO BE PURCHASED LIST!!

Missy Tippens said...

Trish, welcome!! Thanks so much for a great post. I do like to use a little humor in my books, but it's not something I've ever though about doing intentionally. This helps give some guidelines.

Thanks for hanging with us today!

Nancy Kimball said...

Trish, I would LOVE a signed copy of your new book. I have an example from my recent reading:

From the craft book "How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide"....

"If you make any of these plot mistakes, your manuscript will become some ream of paper's brief detour on the way to becoming mulch."

And one of my favorites from my currant manuscript:

(The hero has approached his fellow gladiator working clay in the garden on their rest day.)

"What are you making this week?"
"An eagle in flight with a fish in it's talons."
Jonathan turned his head to view the piece from several different angles, but it still resembled a bread loaf and an animal more elephant than eagle. "Have you thought about bowls?"
Cam scowled before releasing an angry sigh. "Why does everyone always ask me that?"

Mary Connealy said...

Oops, meant to include how to join the ACFW Book Club so you can vote for Tina.

Click HERE

Joanne Sher said...

Trish - GREAT post!

I JUST finished "Fools Rush In" by Janice Thompson - and I'm POSITIVE I laughed on every page. Just ordered her next one too.

PLEASE enter me :)

Missy Tippens said...

Linnette, congrats on the scholarship!!

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thank ya, Missy! :D

Trish Perry said...

Mary, thanks for alerting me that the post was up--I would have felt awful if I hadn't commented to any of these terrific posts! Also, Mary, thanks for FINALLY remembering to thank me for being on Seekerville, on your FOURTH comment. I feel so . . . used.

But thank you, really, everyone, for being so welcoming and chatty.

Carol, Lisa, Melanie, Jan, Janet, and Missy I love that there are so many of you who enjoy humor and incorporate it (or hope to) into your writing--as Mary says, even those intense action scenes benefit from the release that humor brings. That particular type of humor can sometimes be pretty dark, but I have to admit, I often enjoy dark humor.

Mimi, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for you and Brieanne. You're such sweet, appreciative women, and I loved seeing you here on Seekerville.

Natalie, one of my favorite oldies for the witty dialogue is All About Eve. Great, snarky lines. So I'll bet Ruth is a big fan of that one, too.

Camy, I laughed all the way through your Sushi series. And I agree re the manga humor--really basic, in-your-face stuff, just like the the crying. I remember watching Pokemon with my son and laughing about the firehose-level of water that gushed from characters' eyes when they were the slightest bit upset.

Tina and all, thanks for the compliment on the cover of Unforgettable. It's the first time I have actual people on a cover, so I was thrilled to see that one.

So funny, Lisa, that you don't consider YOURSELF funny. I feel like I've laughed plenty when around you at ACFW, and I'm pretty sure I was laughing with you, not at you. Please say it's so.

Whitney, I don't think I've ever seen an episode of Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Now I'm intrigued . . .

I so agree with you, Julie, about using quirky characters to bring out the funny. LOVE quirky characters! But I don't agree that you aren't funny anymore. I remember a past ACFW when you carried around a cover mockup of one of your books on which the hero's eyes had strayed where they shouldn't have. Makes me laugh to this day remembering it.

Linette, another writer who can do non-fiction with that dry wit is Randy Ingermanson. You'd never know he was shy, reading his stuff.

Nancy--gladiator humor--who can top THAT?

And Joane, yes Janice Thompson is great fun! And a total sweetie.

Glynna, Audra, Susan Anne, Sherri, and anyone I might have missed, thank you so much for your welcome and interaction.

Since Mary put Ahnold in my mind, I'll post this for now and say, "I'll be back."

PatriciaW said...

I can be a little sarcastic, even snarky, and I have to fight to keep too much of that out of my writing. Not every hero or heroine has that personality trait.

One of the funniest books I read was Imaginary Jesus. I remember laughing out loud while reading that one.

Mary Connealy said...

That link I included didn't go to the actual poll.
Click on it and click on POLLS on the left side. Then click on:

ACFW HEART SONG/LOVE INSPIRED POLL ENDS SUNDAY JULY 10th - So HURRY and Cast your Vote! These will be Book Selections for NOV 2011

Then vote.

travelingstacey said...

I love witty humor in a book! Some of the contempory Christian fiction I've read recently has some great humor that I really enjoyed. For example, Hattaras Girl. I love reading the sacarsm from the inside the character's head...which is, for me, funnier than reading about two characters sparring back and forth. When I was teaching overseas I read aloud a book to my students called In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Fabulous chapter book. I was cracking up along with my students when the main character, a little girl who had moved to America with her Asian parents, was trying to learn American culture on her own (including how to say the pledge of allegiance). I'll never forget that! : ) I'd love a chance to get a copy of your book!

Susan Hollaway said...

I remember the first book of yours I read "The Guy I'm Not Dating". I loved it! I loved, too, that I laughed out loud while reading it.

Thanks for all your helpful tips!

Jan Drexler said...

I had to shout it out here first - I finished the 1st draft of my WIP today!

There's still a BUNCH of work to do on it, but, seriously, I couldn't have gotten this far without all of you.

Thank you!

Mary Connealy said...


Proud of you, girl. That's a wonderful accomplishment.

Missy Tippens said...

Yay, Jan!!! Isn't typing The End the best feeling?! :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Sandie Bricker's Snowball book cracked me up and Connealy's books usually get me laughing too. :-)

CarolM said...

Audra - you are too sweet darlin'. Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be pitching a rom com series at ACFW. Gotta finish book 1. I hit 'the end' but have a bunch of middle stuff to get in and have not found ANY writing time lately [even before getting sick]. Now that the kids are napless we have something going on almost every day /sigh/. I owe my CP a more-polished-than-rough draft of the first half in 10 days but the rough draft of the first half isn't even finished.

/more sighing/

Ruthy - got one of those chocolate filled croisants [sp?] the other day on accident [they thought that's what I wanted, I wanted the double fudge brownie so I ended up with both. I love my Panera]. Wowzers it was yummy!

Okay back to not-writing /sigh/.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Trish, that's too funny! Dave is like that, too. Kind of shy, but has that sense of humor that puts you at ease.

Jan D! Congrats, Lady, on finishing your wip!!! Exciting, isn't it? :D

Sarah Forgrave said...

Awesome post, Trish! Wow, so many great pointers here.

I loved your point about observing others and finding the "funny" in life. I had an experience like that when I volunteered at a nursing home lately. One of the women did a little cha-cha dance every time she passed by me, and she talked at length about an Elvis impersonator that performed there, complaining about how he didn't sing a solo just for her. I left that day thinking, "This lady HAS to go in one of my novels some day." :)

Your new book sounds great. I'd love a chance to win...

sarah at sarahforgrave dot com

Nancy Kimball said...

Jan!!! Congrats!!! I can now say I know that feeling, as I completed my first manuscript at 6:31 p.m. on July 4th.
I'm not a mother but I seriously felt like I had just delivered my first baby. I even blogged about it, with "baby" pictures :p
So happy for you!

CarolM said...

Janice Thomson! That's who it is! And yes, I giggled my way through Fools Rush In too. The next two are on my 'to buy when I have money' list and then yesterday came the news about four more related books :D.

AND JAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY for you lady! That's awesome!

I hit the end of my wip but have too many pieces to go back and fill in to call the rough draft 'done' :p.

Go you!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Trish,
Welcome to Seekerville.
I admire anyone who can write humor. It definitely is a gift.
And we do have some humorous ladies here in Seekerville which is why it is so fun here. smile

Thanks again for joining us and brightening our day.

Love the cover btw on your book.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Jan congrats girl. Finishing that first draft is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone I slept through most of the conversation looks like! glad someone gave you the author- I actually knew that one LOL but got here too late! ;-) I liked the first book in that series the best - think I've read 3 - the 2nd I didnt like as much but the 3rd was back on for me! I know most of the real places she mentions since I live in Houston and drive through Splendora when I go to my dad's..sure never slowed down enough to find a DJ but think about it now every trip! I think she writes under Janice Hanna sometimes - there's a Love FInds You in Poetry Texas that was pretty cute and seems like someone told me about another one.A friend of mine knows her and I was telling her about the books and she said 'that happened with her daughter',etc so she's using some real stuff and changing names.

I love humor in my reads - some seem to do it better than others and sometimes just depends on my moods. I tend to like the sarcastic type of humor and also the cutesy but it's hard to draw the line sometimes at cute and just plain TSTL..chick lit started oding that for me - after criticizing chick lit book after chick lit book for a stupied dingbat man hungry heroine then decided maybe that's what a lot of chick lit is with a few exceptionsmayb e(I never read enough to figure it out though I do like Laura Jensen Walker though that's mainly due to the book and movie discussions she adds!

thanks the the library dicussion a week or so ago I found one of yours there LOL but want to look for that other one you showed first. they have the first tea book and it's wishlisted so who else on here uses fort bend library??! :-)


Julie Lessman said...

Uh-oh, Trish ... you remember the mockup, huh?? Shhh ... my publisher doesn't know that I showed that o anybody ... :)


Cara Lynn James said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Trish! I really love humor in real life and funny people, and I love humor in books. I'm not so great at writing it. Once in a while I'll think up a funny line and add it in, but I certainly don't try to come up with something funny. That won't work for me.

The ability to write humorous characters or dialogue is a gift, I think.

Jackie S. said...

Just read 3 by Mary and 3 by Ruthie, and found lots of laughs in them!!! I remember in Sunset Beach..the scene of things falling out of Would love to read Unforgettable.

CatMom said...

Great post, Trish! Thanks so much for sharing these tips with us. I love reading novels with humor sprinkled here and there, but hadn't given much thought to consciously adding it in my own writing (although it does show up in certain characters). So I really appreciate the list you gave us today (it always helps me to have things in a list, LOL). ~ On a personal note, when I attended my very first ACFW conference in 2008, you sat two people over from me at the banquet table (I was thrilled sitting at a table with "real, published authors"!!). Anyway, I remember you were very nice and friendly to me, which I so appreciated! ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

CatMom said...

P.S. I'm still laughing at Ruthy's "Snarks R Us" comment on here!! ;)

Cara Lynn James said...

Julie, I remember the mock up, too!

Whitney said...

Trish-- get a hold of the first season Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Funny, romantic, spy-cozy show. It's the perfect blend of lighthearted and dramatic.

Congrats to all you whose finger-flying has paid off with finished manuscripts! Soon those manuscripts will be flying off bookstore shelves.


Trish Perry said...

I have to say, ladies, re that scene in Beach Dreams-- when Tiff spills embarrassment out of her purse--that that scene was going to be pulled because it was considered to be, in so many words, in bad taste. I threw a tiny tiff (as opposed to Tiff) with my dear editor, who graciously left the scene in. And then I found out after the book released that others at my publisher were also not happy about it's being left in. So I'm really glad you all enjoyed that scene. I liked it too. It was actually a spin on something that happened to me, and I really wanted to use it.

Ruth, I forgot to address your question about Unforgettable. That Summerside series, called When I Fall in Love, uses a song title for each book, and each book is set during the year the song was released. You can imagine how often I heard that song in my mind, working on the book day after day! I weaved the playing of the song into two scenes of the book, the second of which is more meaningful.

Congrats, Jan, on The End! Ahhh, are there two more beautiful words?

And Julie, if any of your publishing house's staff members are reading this blog, you KNOW I simply forgot to mention that you were holding that clandestine artwork close to your, um, chest, and I put a gun to your head and forced you to show it to me. There was really nothing else you could have done but show it to me. And then Cara Lynn James stepped up, took the gun, and did the very same thing.

Patti Jo, how sweet of you to remember our dinner together! I hope we'll cross paths at another ACFW!

Again, thanks so much for the welcome from everyone!

Audra Harders said...

Day job really gets into my lunch here. I want to lounge around Seekerville all day, LOL!

Jan!! Yay for you! Nothing, NOTHING will ever feel as good as the first time you type the words THE END.

Sooooo proud of you!!!!!!

Audra Harders said...

OMG, Nancy, You finished yours, too?


Do you know how many people talk about writing a book but only a FRACTION actually complete one??

Nancy and Jan, you've accomplished extraordinary measures here! WooHoo. Ice cream and cake for all!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Trish, I'm STILL humming the tune. I think the only way to jar it is to start humming "It's a Small World After All!" like at Disney World.

So they're set in that year???? Oh, I love that idea, Trish!


That rocks!

I love knowing that words make people laugh and cry. Shoot, I tear up at a good TV commercial (I only wish I was kidding...) and I love to laugh.

Trish, this is a keeper post.

Audra Harders said...

Whitney, what a hoot! I remember Scarecrow and Mrs. King. I loved that series.

I think Ruthy mentioned Remington Steel. Wow. Now THAT was the era of Pierce Brosnan.

I was a big fan of Moonlighting, too. Bruce Willis just cracked me up.

Cathy Shouse said...

I really enjoy humor but found it hard to come up with an example.

In Shirley Jump's "Miracle For Christmas Eve" (something like that, a character was described as being silent as wrapping paper.

Put me in for the book.

Jean Kinsey said...

I'd love to win one of your books. I need a good chuckle

Brianna said...

Thanks for your advice!
In one of my stories I chose a certain character to be the funny one. I think a good story is one that can have you crying one minute and laughing the next. Rare .... but we gots to keep tryin'.
Thanks again!

Patty Wysong said...

Loved this post, Trish! This is something I need and want to learn.

Unforgettable is on my NEED to read list and has been for a couple months now. =]

I recently read Deanna Gist's Maid to Match, and loved how she worked humor in throughout. I both laughed and cried in that one. Loved it. =]

patterly atgmail dotcom

Trish Perry said...

Oh my goodness, "It's a Small World" is worse than having one of those Star Trek Ceti Eel bugs incubating in your ear. That was just plain mean, Ruth.