Please, make me smile.
One thing that I struggle with in many books is the absence of humour. It’s almost as if that part, present in almost every human being, has been clinically removed by the author. It grows worse when it is replaced by a parody of mirth, where a writer has characters rolling about in the floor in hysterical laughter when something happens that doesn’t even raise a smile for me.
There are many authors who do other emotions so well that I wonder why they struggle with the most joyous of them all. Such things as an archenemy offering up a little quip as he slaughters the innocent can make a gory scene all the more sinister… and all the more enjoyable. I wonder if writers are fearful that their humour will fall flat, and so avoid it altogether.
In the real world, humour often needs to be spontaneous, but a writer has the luxury of procrastinating for many hours and he or she will still give the impression of spontaneity in a witty line. I tend to write such humour on the fly, and accept that sometimes it will fall flat in a story, just as such things will in real life.
I recently finished a novel and, in it, the main character makes endless jokes about her human friend’s fleshy aberrations known as ears. – It became something of a theme and the betas who have read it agreed that it did work. – Be it a theme or an unexpected interlude, please, please, I want you to make me laugh, especially if the novel is otherwise dark.
So please, I feel whatever genre you write in should have a place for humour. If your characters make a reader laugh, they’re far more likely to grow on them.