You are so Funny-- Really?
I never knew. I grew up a shy child. Mom always said she could get my youngest sister to go in the convenience store and buy milk before I would. I couldn't stand being embarrassed and was uncomfortable about doing stuff. Yep, nowadays, we say immature and that was probably the case.
Eventually, I grew up and learned no doesn't mean no all the time and I wouldn't die doing things. I developed more confidence in my capabilities. I married Handsome. After kids came, two girlfriends and I went on an overnight getaway to a small town which holds a Christmas home tour. Après dinner and seeing the houses, we put on our jammies and settled in to good ol' girl talk. One friend said, "You are so funny."
I had no words. That kind of compliment had never floated my way. Astonished, I replied, "Really?"
"Yes, you are."
I never knew.
So when I began writing, the funny stuff seeped into my work. I love writing witty banter. The greatest compliment I've had is when people say "you made me laugh out loud."
How do I do it? I'll give myself credit and say some is natural. Mostly, I work hard to pick the perfect word, words, phrase, sentence. I even make up words.
For example, in my latest story, "San Diego or Bust," the hero finally proposes to the heroine (only she doesn't want him after the trip from hell). Here's what I wrote:
I inhaled. “No, it can’t wait. We need to talk right now about you and me.”
Still staring down the street, he rolled his hand. “And?”
“We’re finished. Done. Over.”
Slowly, he rotated my way and removed his glasses. Confusion passed through his eyes. “Finished?”
He couldn't be this dense—could he? “Yep. Adios. Hasta la vista.”
“I don’t get it.”
I spelled it out. “We...are not...going to date...anymore.”
Davis cocked his head. “Is this because I didn’t propose?”
He really was that dense.
He dropped to his knee and removed something from his pants' pocket. “Jill, will you marry me?”
Oh. My. God. My hands clapped my cheeks. This was surreal. Three days ago, I’d hoped he’d propose; only now, I didn’t want it. Our marriage would have been one big, huge, horrendous mistake.
A quick look at the others in the holding area told me they were staring at the scene unfolding between us. My body sizzled with heat. “Davis, please get up.” When he shook his head and didn't move, I said, “Your pants will get dirty.”
You might note that Davis is a tad dense ('cause he's a little self-centered) and my heroine spells things out to him. She says "Yep" (not yes), Adios (not good bye), and for more emphasis "Hasta la vista." So three times. In design, three elements are more pleasing. I figured that could be so in writing as well.
Then Davis said, "Is this because I didn't propose?" And our heroine thinks, he really is that dense--something we already know-and where is this going anyway? Uh oh thoughts begin to surface.
Let's look at the phrase "big, huge, horrendous mistake." Again the three times and each word is bigger than the last. Can't you imagine someone holding their hands and letting the space between grow large and larger until…explode!
So Davis proposes. Our heroine says "no" and he still is down on his knee. Earlier, I painted the picture of Davis always looking perfect. On one knee for a long while, he might begin to look funny. People are staring. And when he shakes his head and won't get up, the heroine said the one thing sure to get him to his feet, "Your pants will get dirty."
He-he-he. That sentence always has me in stitches. I have to say the line just hit me in the head when I read through (one of a bazillion times). I HAD to add it.