A friend of mine recently told me that I should consider writing comedy. I laughed, naturally, because I assumed he meant it as a joke. I am known for those kind of lines, which can strip someone of his dignity, but I would not say I was particularly funny. When I hear a good joke, I do not remember it to retell it to my friends.
He was serious, though. He said, “Writing comedy is the same as writing the romance novels, which are your stock and trade.” Again, I laughed. “Comedy needs real-life situations,” he explained. I thought about that fact and agreed. “It needs strong dialogue, which tells the story.”
My interest piqued. “I think dialogue is one of my strengths in writing,” I confided.
“The characters have to be relatable. You have to see yourself in them.”
“Okay, I get it. What else?” I asked, now enthralled with the idea.
He paused to think what other examples he should use to sell me on the idea. “Pacing is important,” he added.
“Yes. . .” I encouraged.
“A balance between the elements,” he continued.
“Does not one have to know how to write a joke?” I asked when he paused again. “Should not one have a sense of humor?”
“You have an excellent sense of humor,” he assured me. “Maybe a bit too sophisticated at times.”
“So, I do not like bathroom humor,” I countered.
“But you do like word puns and malapropisms.”
“That is true. But just because I enjoy twisting the King’s English, that does not mean I can write comedy.”
“Have it your way,” he said. “But you are funny, whether you know it or not.”
I thought about what he said. Then I noticed the sly smirk turning up the corners of his mouth. “Oh, yeah,” I protested. “Tell me a time when you recognized my natural comedic flare,” I challenged.
He sat for several elongated minutes. Finally, he said, “Besides when you slipped on the ice and looked like a windmill trying to catch your balance.”
“Yes, besides that.”
“I rest my case.”