It is quiet, your keyboard is making its pitter pattering and then… your dog runs into the room and slips on the tiles as he chases after a cat. His nose hits the wall. He is sneezing all over your curtains. Your characters are busy discussing serious things. The dog is yelping and you sit there… snickering.
I am no comedian, but I have found that people always laugh at my speeches. So I studied humour and I found that it boils down to a simple thing. Flaws are the core of comedy. I think it is a gift from God that we also misuse. We laugh at misery to make things better. Stereotypes are based on a preconceived notion of a particular person, usually because of a singular trait. We have seen them all, but they still make us laugh. I decided to deliver a speech on humour and I did it in the way a stand up comedian would do. I was scared to death. My tie was shaking and my hands too, but I did not care. I knew I could make people laugh with my world-view. You see, I am a bit of a pessimist or I can pretend to be. So I used my hands as a joke right there. I worked with my immediate flaws to showcase that my audience would laugh. I was not wrong. They did laugh… at my speech and at my flaws, because they are human. Life is one fat man constantly stepping on a banana peel.
Even though I had found a way to entertain my friends like the sad clown I was, I still had no idea how I could make my characters funny, but as I was writing I discovered that it only takes a little conflict and a little sarcasm to tune up the comedy value of what you have written.
How do I know if something is funny? I read it and reread it. If I find a trace of anti-laughter (lame humor) I run away and apologize to my cat for having to endure my stupid jokes. I have found that if you go into your character’s point of view and act a little cynical you can do wonders for your humorous writing. After you have done this you need to get it to your alpha-readers. Comedy never changes. Timing is always important. You don’t want to seem too eager to make people laugh.
Keep these things in mind. Be a pessimist for a day and write down your thoughts. They will be funnier than you might think. You can only have this high with some sort of low.
Comedy is acceleration. Happiness is speed. Think about it.