Author of the new YA novel Mostly Good Girls
I was fortunate enough to be a part of her blog tour for this awesome book, be sure to check out every stop.
8. HUMOR WRITING – PART SEVEN
Having shared with you a whole bunch of rules for humor writing, I wanted to give you a list of a few of my favorite funny writers, who make these rules look easy.
DAVE BARRY: This man has had a thirty-year long career, and everything he’s published has been brilliant. He is a genius. I literally, not even exaggerating, would not be a humor writer today if my mom hadn’t brought me a Dave Barry book from the library when I was twelve years old and home sick from school.
MEG CABOT: The Princess Diaries are some of the most hysterical YA novels out there. Remember my Humor Writing Tip #6? “Make things extreme”? Meg Cabot like invented that rule.
LOIS LOWRY: People don’t immediately think of Lois Lowry as a humor writer, presumably because neither dystopian societies (The Giver) nor World War Two (Number the Stars) are real laugh-fests. But her slightly less well-known books—like Taking Care of Terrific and The Willoughbys—are so droll and clever.
JON SCIESZKA: I mentioned The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales in my post on Humor Writing Tip #4 (callbacks), and I mean it: I’ve read that book a million times since I was seven, and it still makes me laugh. You know how I said that roughly eighty percent of humor is subverting the audience’s expectations? Well, no one does that as well as Jon Scieszka.
SIMON RICH: His first collection of humor essays, Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations is so funny that I literally cannot read it aloud without laughing until I cry. It’s vastly humiliating, yet I keep reading it aloud to friends anyway.
DOROTHY PARKER: My stated dream is to be the Dorothy Parker of teen literature. When my editor first acquired Mostly Good Girls, I made her and my agent go out for drinks with me at the Algonquin Hotel, where I ordered a cocktail called the Parker. That is how serious about this I am.
OSCAR WILDE: More than a hundred years after his death, Oscar Wilde remains the master of pithy wit. He once wrote the phrase, “If I am occasionally a little overdressed, I make up for it by being immensely overeducated.” If I ever write anything half that clever, then I’ll be satisfied.
Who do you think are some of the funniest writers? Which is to say—who should I read next?