How to Be Hilarious: Does it Always Have to Be Dialogue?

I’ve been thinking about humor lately, and realized that when most people (me included, I ‘spose) talk about being funny, they talk about how to be funny in dialogue.

It makes sense that you’d immediately think of dialogue, ’cause for your characters to be funny, they need to speak. Right? 

Actually, I figured out that the answer is: wrong. And today we’re going to find out why!Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM


1. Physical Appearance

I noticed something when reading Keeper of the Lost Cities wayyy back a year ago in the olden days of yore/2018. The humorous character-Keefe-is incredibly smart, because of his photographic memory. And yet he ditches classes, and receives detentions.

Another interesting thing about Keefe is that he lets his long shirts be un-tucked, like he could care less. And yet, he spends hours on his hair. It only adds, because of how he doesn’t care about his clothes, to how hilarious Keefe really is.

Why does something like clothing add to being funny?

Immediately when I heard of shirts being un-tucked and a really smart kid who ditches classes, I get the feelings of: Loose, careless, and funny. It just fits. Because, I mean, throwing out jokes is being non-responsible and completely un-dignified! So is loose shirts and ditching classes!


2. Facial Expressions

This one’s great. In the series I’m reading currently, there’s a character who likes to wink. A lot. He grins and winks. It’s like hisdefining trait‘, and it really brings out how snarky he is! It’s also just hilarious to hear about how much he winks. 

You could really go far with this, like when one of the characters is talking about this longgg strategy, you can have one of your characters glance over at the quirky character to see them either: fake sleeping, making annoying sounds, making funny faces, mimicking the speaker, honestly the list goes on! 


3. Actions

Remember how I was talking about Keefe before? I was talking about how he ditches classes. That’s an action that he takes that brings out the feeling of carelessness in him. 

Then I thought of other kinds of actions. Kind of like facial expressions, I realized that when someone talks they’ll have their way of talking. Huge hand gestures, maybe small hand gestures, maybe nothing at all. They might make a funny voice, or actually show the listener a little funny example of what they’re talking about by doing it. (Example: “He was running like this,” (and then you run around exactly like the person you’re talking about.) If the way the person is running is funny, the person listening will laugh. 


b7cf2067eadda877469c472bb26af516Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM


There are so many great ways to ace humor in books! Try out different things, and see what works for you!


Have you ever read books with any of these tips?

Can you think of any other great ways to ace humor?

And can you guess which book series I’m currently reading?


I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!






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4 thoughts on “How to Be Hilarious: Does it Always Have to Be Dialogue?”

  1. Very true! You can be humorous in so many ways! In fact, I adore books that get characters into absurd, ’40s-screwball-comedy style situations … and then just let the characters react to the absurdity! (bonus points if at least one of the characters doesn’t think it’s absurd and is just like, “welcome to another Tuesday”) 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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