Humor of Angels and Devils -- funny stuff: death, injury and mutilation, injustice, pain, stupidity, despair, racism, sexism, ethic chauvinism, hate, arrogance, human folly especially religion, medicine and politics. Belly laugh: savage release of almost unbearable tension

In structure:

- romance (the touching struggles of people who love or will love one another).
-education (dumb person learns)
-Picaresque quest (dimwit or roque on a journey of self-discovery).
-Formal satire (let’s make fun of opera, the romance novel, or art rock)

Uses for humor in writing:
-building Characters (what do they do that’s funny, what do they laugh at)
-humanizing Heros/Villains
-making the reader feel comfortable and safe
-tension release

Techniques for creating humor: (See below for examples from my (M. Thomas) work.
-create situation where characters are ignorant or mistaken about facts known to the reader.
-unexpected and inappropriate behavior
-purposeful misinterpretation generally by over literal interpretation
-earnest description of base acts
-portraying a ludicrous situation as though it were evocative or poignant
-purposeful distortion of a "sacred" myth, story or tradition -- often through being over literal
-portrayal of unrecognized foolishness
-exaggeration
-improper attributions of purpose
-irony, reversed meaning
-understatement and/or stating the obvious
-manipulation of dialects and colorful figures of speech
-paradoxical effect
-unexpected juxtapositions
-predictable vignettes or moral tales that charters interpret in unexpected ways
-demonstration of character flaws




TECHNIQUES FOR CREATING HUMOR - CROSSWINDS
1. Situations in which characters are ignorant of or mistaken about facts known to the reader. example: Duane hearing Andy's side of the telephone conversation between Rodney and Andy.pp. 84 -84

2. Unexpected and inappropriate behavior - especially in characters with positions of authority. example: The fire-boss, Harrellson, hose between his legs, pretending to urinate on a fire to extinguish it. pp. 148 (numerous other examples)
3. Purposeful misinterpertation by over literal interpertation. example: reference to curses as "prayerful exhortations" pp. 143
4. Earnest description of base acts. example: Rodney's description of drunken vomiting in the Taco Bell men's room. pp. 56-57.
5. Portraying a ludicrous situation as though it were poignant. example: Rodney listening to sentimental songs at the Mexican dance pp. 51.
6. Purposeful distortion of a "sacred" myth, story, or tradition. example: Mona's comparison of killing and eating trapped doves to the last supper. pp. 119.
7. Portrayal of unrecognized foolishness. example: The fire-boss, Junior Harrelson, intoxicated on Marijuana fumes, develops a fascination with the sound of Marvin Clendenon's name. pp. 149.
8. Exaggeration/overstatement. example: Rodney describes Duane's marijuana addled trip to the railroad water tank as comparable to a "ten year expedition to antarctica." pp. 148.
9. Improper attribution of purpose. example: Rodney characterizes Edna as having "a long skinny nose for looking down on folks." pp. 98.
10. Irony, reversed meanings. example: Zeke suggests that the local police acting "as wisdom required" have put the contraband marijuana in the "able hands of the federal authorities" pp. 141-142.
11. Understatement and/or stating the obvious. example: after an angry, vituperative harangue, Rodney states that these "are not thoughts for staying out of jail on." pp. 54
12. Manipulation of dialects, slang, and colorful figures of speech. example: Rodney compares Edna's sniveling to "a bobcat chewing yellowjackets." pp.152
13. Paradoxical affect. example: Rodney experiences kindness that "of course, made me feel whole lot worse." pp.163
14. Unexpected juxtapositions. example: Billy the Kid and a suicidal artist. p. 1.
15. Predictable vignettes that turn out to have an unexpected meaning. example: The story of the Doberman and the decline of patriotism. pp. 103-105.

In CROSSWINDS, there are numerous examples of the above techniques and there may may be other techniques that are not here-listed. Have you found others? Other examples of the above?


TECHNIQUES FOR CREATING HUMOR - OSTRICH

1. Situations in which characters are ignorant of or mistaken about facts known to the reader. example: The colonel as author of the infamous note. Rosa thinks that Ev, has written the note
pp. 165, 175.
2. Unexpected and inappropriate behavior - especially in characters with positions of authority. example: The colonel’s demand for a gun pp.25-26
3. Purposeful misinterpertation by over literal interpertation, misplaced concreteness. example, Fanny reacting to the claim that a parrot’s jaw is strong enough to lift a Cadillac. p.252
4. Earnest description of base acts. example: The Samson the Ostrich moves his bowels, p. 113.
5. Portraying a ludicrous situation as though it were poignant. example: p25 It is always annoying to have quiet times with injured pets interrupted by retired drunken Colonels demanding guns.
6. Purposeful distortion of a myth, story, tradition or pop culture artifact. example, Magda’s song for Champy p.24. Downward sloping demand p 116
7. Portrayal of unrecognized foolishness. example: The Colonel worrying over King Richard pp. 232-233
8. Exaggeration/overstatement. example: The first sight of an ostrich p. 144, Rosa doing something in the kitchen that apparently involved a jackhammer and a set of cymbals
9. Improper attribution of purpose/intent. example Horses like to cover ground...etc:p229
10. Irony, reversed meanings. example: pp. 141-142.
11. Understatement and/or stating the obvious. example: p. 204 “No one would ever characterize sheep as creative creatures.”
12. Manipulation of dialects, slang, and colorful figures of speech. example: Bert’s advise about Ev’s hurt feet. pp.119-120
13. Paradoxical framing. example: darting in front of Pink Cadillacs does work up an appetite
pp 204-205
14. Unexpected juxtapositions. example: Zebulon Pike, Pike’s Peak and the sight of the ostrich.p114..
15. Predictable vignettes that turn out to have an unexpected meaning. Fanny’s rap on parrots and fighting. pp. 146-147
16. Celebrations of character flaws, pettiness p. 236 Sabine enjoys watching disrespectful children sass their domineering mothers. Sabine is glad that Courtney gets her face rubbed in the dirt.

Dialogue
1. Awkward situations - Ev and Rosa at breakfast. p219
2. Arguments Sabine and Rosa, Ev and VJp p40-42, 10-11, 48,49
3. People talking at cross purposes Fanny, Sabine, and VJ pp 146- 147
4. Conversations lacking listening - Sabine and the prison guard. pp44-47
5. People attempting to manipulate one another or follow an agenda. Sabine and Rosa, then Celia , then Felice pp168 - 174

The Overall roller coaster effect build, release in sequence with the laughs getting bigger - Marijuana bonfire in Crosswinds, Sabine’s Party in OSTRICH.