I am not talking about making your story a major laugh-a-minute type affair. I am talking about working in some humor here and there to keep things interesting and realistic. Stories need ups and downs. Humor can help.
But humor is subjective. How many times have you seen a video or heard a joke that you find insanely funny but when you shared it with someone else, you were met with a blank stare or a half-smile?
The trick with humor in your writing is you don’t want to try too hard or make it too obvious that you are trying to be funny. I would suggest having a several people read your “funny” section to see if the majority of them get the humor.
I typically don’t attempt to add humor to my stories. In fact, when trying to think of an example, I couldn’t find many examples.
This one is more amusing than funny. It is from my first novel Summoned. My main character, Lina, is being manhandled and calls out for help from her STAC, Tosh, who can’t help much. He is after all just a cat (with telepathic abilities).
The man lunged for her mouth. Lina turned her head, feeling his lips brush her cheek. She pulled back, but the man held her tight.
“Tosh, help me.”
What do you want me to do? Bite him?
Some authors go with more embarrassingly funny scenes. Here is an example from In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins where the main character loses her “breast enhancer” in the pool.
“Is this raw chicken?” he whispered.
“Sh! No! Give it to me!”
Em grabbed the disgusting, slimy boob enhancer (that had just been in a seagull’s beak.) Should she put it back? Or leave it?
“Well?” Jack said. “You going to put it back or shall I?” He lifted his eyebrow.
“All right, at least let me…here.” He pulled her a few steps away and hugged her. “Go for it. You can tell me later why you’re wearing raw chicken.”
Of course, if I am giving examples of humor, I must include something from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Curiously enough, the dolphins had long known of the impending destruction of the planet Earth and had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger; but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs or whistle for tidbits, so they eventually gave up and left Earth by their own means shortly before the Vogons arrived.
The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backward somersault through a hoop while whistling the “Star-Spangled Banner,” but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.
There are many more examples out there. If you are interested in adding humor to your writing, I suggest making sure it occurs naturally within your story and of course, testing out your humor scenes on others to see if you get the reaction you want.