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Humour Stories

awnlee jawking

I'm struggling with what makes a story merit the 'humor' tag. The ones which flaunt the tag tend to make me grind my teeth in annoyance and wish the author would cut the crap and just get on with the story. On the other hand, Lazlo Zalezac doesn't seem to use the 'humor' tag but there's quite a lot of situational and conversational humour in his stories.

Can you suggest stories which use and deserve the 'humor' tag and, in the interests of research, specify which continent you culturally identify with.

Thanks,

AJ

ustourist

@awnlee jawking

I have a feeling most people won't agree with my suggestion, but:
A Bare Ate My Thing by ShannonQ is one I find humorous because it is a very hard style to write in and to my mind it works.
I know humor is very subjective, but I feel it works better when understated and slips up on you rather than being hit in the face with a sledgehammer. If someone deliberately tries to write it, it rarely works for that reason unless they have a self-deprecating approach.
Born, raised and educated in England, living in the USA all this century. Identify with southern England, NOT Britain on a cultural level.

awnlee jawking

@ustourist

I feel it works better when understated


Thanks.

I encountered an example of that at the weekend. My writers' group had a meeting which ended with a writing exercise.

In my attempt at a story, I had the Queen's Emissary complain that villagers refused to help him find the McGuffin, despite his showing them the Royal Seal. His underling replied, "These villagers couldn't tell a Royal Seal from a Royal Walrus." That struggled to earn even a couple of polite titters.

After the meeting I heard a couple of attendees chuckling at the name I'd given to the Queen's Emissary. I had rejected Sir Gawain and Sir Lancelot as being too Arthurian then my mind went blank so I chose a random word as a placeholder, intending to go back and replace it with something more suitable at the end. I didn't have time. They name they thought was so funny was Sir Hazelnut.

So understated (unintentional even), rather than sledgehammer in face worked better. But this was in Southern England. Other continents may have different mileages.

AJ

LonelyDad

I think one of the classics here is 'Little Brother Settles the Score' by Jarvis Henry. Classic into, setup and denouement. I about bust a gut laughing the first time I read it.

http://storiesonline.net/s/53955/little-brother-settles-the-score

North America

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I feel the Humor tag is only relevant to the story where the whole story or a significant part of it (say more then 80%) is humor or comedy. Most of my stories have some jokes or humor in them, somewhere. However, it's only when they're like Some Ultra Short Stories and Grammar etc. where the whole story is intended to make you laugh do I put the humor tag on it.

edit to add: Australian

LonelyDad

@Ernest Bywater

I feel the Humor tag is only relevant to the story where the whole story or a significant part of it (say more then 80%) is humor or comedy. Most of my stories have some jokes or humor in them, somewhere. However, it's only when they're like Some Ultra Short Stories and Grammar etc. where the whole story is intended to make you laugh do I put the humor tag on it.

I agree that intent is the deciding factor. A lot of the stories I have read on SOL have humorous spots in them. Some have a self-depreciating/poking-fun style of writing, which while not out and out funny do cause one to snort with laughter while reading.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I feel the Humor tag is only relevant to the story where the whole story or a significant part of it (say more then 80%) is humor or comedy. Most of my stories have some jokes or humor in them, somewhere. However, it's only when they're like Some Ultra Short Stories and Grammar etc. where the whole story is intended to make you laugh do I put the humor tag on it.

I agree, I'd only use a humor tag is the entire story isn't intended to be taken seriously. By the way, why don't we also have a "satire", "farce", "utterly humorless" or even "unintentionally humorous" tags (though I suspect the last is covered by the "idiot" tag, describing the author)?

awnlee jawking

@awnlee jawking

On the other hand, Lazlo Zalezac doesn't seem to use the 'humor' tag


Apologies to Lazlo, he uses the 'humor' tag in his Magic series.

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

he uses the 'humor' tag in his Magic series.


Lazlo has 66 stories posted on this site. My personal belief is many of those stories merit the humor code, but he chose to not add it. From what I found, his Magic series stories are the only ones that have the humor code.

There is a corollary to your original question of "what makes a story merit the 'humor' tag". That corollary is "Why is the 'humor' tag omitted from stories that merit the tag. I think it is because the author wrote the story for a reason and that reason was not to make their readers laugh.

I like to add humorous quips to my stories. I think they add to the character development for most people like to make humorous remarks. However, I haven't written a story that was intentionally humorous.

Perhaps our readers compare an author's works with other erotic based works and find many stories lacking in any form of humor, and by comparison, some stories are labeled by the reader as humorous.

My personal assessment of Lazlo's stories is that many of them are a satire on our society. They remind me of the writings of Terry Pratchett, who uses humor in his satirical works.

Replies:   AmigaClone
awnlee jawking

@ustourist

A Bare Ate My Thing by ShannonQ is one I find humorous because it is a very hard style to write in and to my mind it works.


I liked it, and I agree that it's really hard to pull off a story in that style. Thanks.

AJ

JohnPalko
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

jfinn wrote "Amy's Smile", and "An Episode of Michaels" both are really funny as well as meet-cute.

cpete's "Ugly American" doesn't use the humor tag but is hilarious.

Anything by Marsh Alien is guaranteed to be funny, usually in a sweet good-hearted way.

I personally think "About Penguins" by rache is the funniest story on the site, but definitely not in a way anyone would call 'sweet' or 'good-hearted".

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@LonelyDad

Thanks for the recommendation. I read it but it was too over-the-top for my tastes. Blame the Atlantic divide!

AJ

awnlee jawking

@JohnPalko

Thank you, I've added them to my reading list.

AJ

remarcsd

Harddaysknight - Not Guilty
marked as humour and it always gets a laugh out of me when I 're-read it. I'm an Aussie.

TMaskedWriter

Once again, feel like I'm always plugging. I don't label mine Humour, however, I try to keep them at least amusing.

red61544

@awnlee jawking

Awnlee, personally the humor I enjoy most is very subtle, not slapstick. Read chapter 35 of BarBar's "Bec4". Half way through the chapter, the psychiatrist tries to interview Bec, but she turns it around and interviews him. To me, it's hilarious. Though I'm American, I enjoy British and French humor as well as our own.

AmigaClone

@REP

The two of the three stories in Lazlo's Donaldsons Universe (Cookie Magic and Lawyers in Love) have Humor as their Genre although they don't include the humor tag.

Replies:   LonelyDad
LonelyDad

@AmigaClone

The two of the three stories in Lazlo's Donaldsons Universe (Cookie Magic and Lawyers in Love) have Humor as their Genre although they don't include the humor tag.

Satire, especially light satire, can be very humorous when done right.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@LonelyDad

Satire, especially light satire, can be very humorous when done right.

Humor is very important, especially in non-humorous stories, as it lightens the story tensions, allowing the characters and readers to take a deep breath and start again. It's vital for pacing and alleviates the sometimes continually mounting story tensions.

I'm certainly no comedian, but many of my most commented on lines are the quick one-liners which help relieve tense situations.

LonelyDad

Many of Stultus's stories either are humorous or have humorous scenes in them. Check out the following especially.

http://storiesonline.net/s/60716/billionaire-trophy-wife
http://storiesonline.net/s/58226/the-life-and-times-of-judge-moonbat

His humor is as much in the dialog and character/situation descriptions as it is out and out funny.

Grant

Fick Suck, A Modest Fairly Tale.

BlinkReader

"Klutz" by MisguidedChild is another one that makes me smile years after I have read it :)

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