Lighten up, just a little

Apr 17 21:00 2004 Lisa Hood Print This Article

Humor has a place in every day life. It is a part of our ... our ... even our ... Humor is used to lighten the mood, relate to others, to deal with stress and pain. It

Humor has a place in every day life. It is a part of our conversations,Guest Posting our entertainment, even our personalities. Humor is used to lighten the mood, relate to others, to deal with stress and pain. It is in our workplace, our home and it should be in our books.

A sign posted at a beauty shop: “All work done while you wait.”

A sign posted at a meeting: “For Restrooms: Use Stairs.”

A bumper sticker: “Adults are just kids who owe money.”

Another bumper sticker: “Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.”

Should be my bumper sticker: “There is absolutely no excuse for the way I'm about to drive.”

It can be difficult to predict the effect of humor in your writing will have on your reader. Sarcasm may be misinterpreted, sexists, racists or crude remarks may be offensive. You should use caution and good sense; however, humor does have a place in your writing.

Medical research indicates that laughter really is medicinal: increasing the immune system’s activity, increasing antibody immunoglobulin A, which protects the upper-respiratory tract and decreasing stress hormones. Humor reduces blood pressure and the heart rate. Positive humor also offers interpersonal benefits. Humor makes you and your characters likeable.

When should humor be used? Whenever, and wherever stress is prevalent. Think about police officers, medical workers, emergency personnel and you may think there is little opportunity to introduce humor. However, individuals in these professions need humor to cope.

According to Richard Jacobson, a news anchor with a Los Angeles radio station, “As a journalist, you encounter the rough edges of society much like firefighters, policemen and physicians. A certain amount of humor allows you to keep your emotional equilibrium.” He often ends his newscasts with stupid criminal behavior.

A man was arrested after knocking out an armored car driver and stealing the closest four bags of money. It turned out they contained $800 in PENNIES, weighed 30 pounds each and slowed him to a stagger during his getaway so that police officers easily jumped him from behind.

A police officer pulled over a driver early Wednesday because the van she was driving appeared to be out of control. According to his police report, the 42-year-old driver not only seemed to be intoxicated, but said: "Please give me a break. I'm drunk."

You may introduce a character who always has a joke to tell. I’m not talking about the king of one-liners, but don’t you know people who have a joke to share every time you meet them?

A man went to visit his doctor. "Doc, my arm hurts.. Can you check it out please?”
The doctor rolls up the man's sleeve and suddenly hears the arm talk. "Hello, Doctor.” says the arm. “Could you lend me twenty bucks please? I'm desperate!”
"Aha!'' says the doctor. ''I see the problem. Your arm is broke!"

So lighten up a little. It’s ok. Even if your book is serious, your characters don’t always have to be.


© Copyright 2004 Lisa Hood. All rights reserved.

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Lisa Hood
Lisa Hood

Lisa Hood is the author of "Shades of Betrayal" and “Shades of Revenge”. She has been writing for over 10 years and is presently working on her third suspense novel, “Shades of Jealousy.” She is also the Talent Liaison @ Other articles by Lisa Hood can be downloaded from or

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