Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Self-Help 101 by L.G.Keltner #ya #holiday #humor

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: YA/holiday/humor
Length: 25,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: June 28, 2016

Book 2 in the Self-Help 101 series

Dani Finklemeier has self-published her guide to taking over the world, but she still isn’t rich.  Now she’s eighteen, still babysitting for money, and looking forward to starting college in the fall.

Of course, she has to survive a 4th of July outing with her family first.  That’s a challenging prospect considering she has to be in close proximity with a group of cousins known as The Fallible Four.  As if that weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the fallout of her parents learning more about her relationship with her boyfriend Seth than she ever wanted them to know.

The good news is that, if she survives this holiday, she’ll have plenty of material for another self-help book.

Self-Help 101 or: How to Write Humor That Isn’t Totally Cringeworthy

Writing something funny is challenging.  Some people write humor well.  Others put in a ton of effort and still fail miserably.  And no matter what, if you write something intended to be humorous, there will be people who don’t find it funny.  A person’s sense of humor is a highly individual thing, shaped by personality and life experience.

In setting out to write the Self-Help 101 books, I didn’t know if I could make them funny.  I still don’t know to what degree I’ve been successful in doing that.  Some people have said they made for an enjoyable reading experience, which is encouraging.

Still, I can feign being an expert if I must, so I’m here to offer you some tips on writing humor.

1.)  Be cautious about over-used gags.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  The crotch injuries, fart jokes, etc.  This isn’t to say you can’t use them.  I have.  If you do use them, though, try to do something different with it.  Instead of relying on the incident alone, try making the focus of the humor about another character’s response to the incident.

2.)  Look at the absurdities of real life.  Life is far more strange and inexplicable than many of us realize.  Ask yourself why people do the things that they do.  Highlighting these oddities can be funny when done well.

3.)  Use the right voice.  A humorous voice can make anything comical.  There’s no easy way to explain how to do this, and I’m afraid I can’t help you much.  Try reading and analyzing books that you think are funny.  How did the author make you laugh?  That can help you far more than anything I have to say.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn, but those are my tips.  I honestly think Dani is better at being funny than I am, and I created her.  How weird is that?


L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good. 

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

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  1. Good tips! Life is absurd. And usually stranger than fiction.

  2. Thanks for letting me stop by your blog today!

    1. Always a pleasure, L.G. Wishing you great success!!!!!

  3. All good points:) I feel that humor is very difficult to write, even Shakespeare's comedies don't resonate the way his tragedies do.

    1. That's true. I wonder if part of it is the fact that what we find funny changes over time (not to mention that we all have an individual sense of what we find funny to begin with), but tragedy strikes at the core of what makes us human and translates well over the generations. Even if we understand little about someone's culture, we can empathize with the tragedies that befall them.

  4. That's what I loved about the "Dummies" series back in the day--they were funny and fun to read. I prefer a self-help book with a sense of humor, even if it's a dry, highly academic topic.

    1. True! Those books were successful for a reason! I think most of us would rather learn from a book that has fun with the subject.

  5. Humor isn't easy to write. These are great tips. Congrats on the release.