I find some characters so much harder to write than others. I mentioned in a previous post that I find creating laconic characters really quite difficult, mostly because they won’t stop talking. Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that I also have difficulty creating a character who could be described as the ‘comic relief’.
Part of the problem here is that my characters all take themselves far too seriously. Most of the humour in the stories I write comes from gross misunderstandings or misinterpretation – sometimes from hyperbole or severe understatement. Rarely do I create characters and situations that are absurd and comic for the sake of it. I now realise that part of the reason why I haven’t written these characters and scenes is because it is really hard for me to do. The common sense part of me kicks in and argues with the characters actions and lack of thought process.
The reason I’m suddenly concerned about this is the last couple of outlines I’ve written have required me to create a character who might at times assume the role of comic relief and yet when it has come to actually creating this character I’m drawing a complete blank. For the moment I’m working without him but I know that eventually I’m going to need to nail this character.
This brings to mind a few questions.
1. What makes a character funny and not just silly?
2. How important is humour in story telling (and given I love books that make me laugh or smile in between tense situations I find humour very important)?
3. How do you go about creating a character that is humourous?
I would love to hear your thoughts and whether you’ve ever faced a similar problem.
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