Being funny is a funny thing. It can be mysterious, elusive, frustrating, maddening and unbelievably uplifting. I have a few trusted friends I bounce lines, scenes, passages off of in order to gauge their success. It's often hard to judge if something is funny when you're the one who created it.
Rather than focusing on funny lines, I try to come up with funny ideas which then function as geysers of comedy, spewing humor all over the book. For example, in 'You Can't Have My Planet But Take My Brother, Please', I have an alien realtor. He is trying to get the humans evicted so he can sell Earth to a king and queen from another planet and make a big commission. I planted that geyser at the beginning of my book and it spewed glistening drops of laughter all the way to the final chapter. At least, that's what readers have told me.
Originality is always the key. I needed a mad scientist. How could I give a fresh take on that? Well, first of all, I made her a female. Mad scientists are always men. Then I made her an alien. An alien female mad scientist who is obsessed with shoes. I liked the idea of a mad scientist putting down her beaker and running off to the mall to buy a pair of red pumps. Then I gave her a moveable face. It shifts all around her body so you have to stay focused when you're talking to her.
The key to being funny is to always have fun while being funny otherwise you won't be funny and wouldn't it be funny if I kept this sentence going forever by using the word funny but then again it probably wouldn't be funny at all so I'll stop right now!
Mayhemers, what do you think? What are some of the funniest MG books out there? What works for MG humor? And what doesn't work?
James Mihaley invented a spaceship that runs on rhyming and put it his children's book 'You Can't Have My Planet But Take My Brother, Please'. Walking in the woods one day, James found some androids turning paper back into trees and asked if he could put them in his book. The androids said they would be honored to appear in the book. James needed a villain for his book. He met an alien princess who had a pirate tattoo on her shoulder. The pirate was alive. It shot a miniature cannonball at James. James was extremely impressed and put them in his book also. The book became loaded to the brim with cool things that were full of adventure and extremely hilarious. The book began to multiply. Copies of the novel came up out of the ground. They fell from the sky. Make sure you catch one before it hits you on the head. This book will remind you why books are important and it will inspire you to take care of this lovely planet we inhabit.