I’m glad I don’t drink coffee on my way to work, or it would have been snorted all over my car. Perhaps it was the ellipsis and inflection added by Arte Johnson, the audiobook narrator, but I “literally LOLed” when he said the words. Later, when I pulled in to my patch of grass at work, I said to myself that I would never be able to write humor. It takes a special kind of genius.
Or does it? This type of humor – the sneak-up-on-you kind – isn’t actually funny the moment you hear it. After all, that quote up top isn’t hilarious until the meaning sinks in. You read it, and then there is a pause, and then BLAM, you’re laughing. In that way it works just like a novel’s twist or turn. One moment, the character is alive, and the next, dead… and there is this pause where you are absorbing this information, and then you get that “Oh shiiii$%!” moment where the sadness or anger rolls in.
So if I can’t write humor, does that mean I can’t write a plot twist? Hardly. Instead, looking at humor as a twist might help me find a systematic way to include it in some of my writing. If I try to make it come out of left field and stun the reader, even momentarily, then it won’t have to be humorous on its own.
Or maybe I’m just coming up with excuses to “study” more Carl Hiaasen.