Humor Hints in Newsletter

You can find Anne Louise’s “Humor Hints” in “Sharing with Writers” , a newsletter produced by award-winning author Carolyn Howard Johnson who can be reached at

Even subscribers who aren’t humorists can learn something; humor can spark an otherwise very dull book proposal, for example. So listen up! Here is Anne Louise with a “Humor Hint” straight from her first appearance in “Sharing with Writers.”

By Anne Louise Reinhard, fan of Dayton University’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and humor writer.

In order to be humorous, writing needs to have a twist that’s unexpected – an element of surprise. Here is a perfect example of an unexpected conclusion from Erma Bombeck: “When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.”

I must say that my ideas aren’t always this good, so I have devised this “unexpectation” test for my writing: I read the story aloud to someone, but I pause before the punch line and ask them what they think is coming. If they start their answer with “Duh”, then I know I need to rework, or at least reword, the story. Sometimes, one of them will come up with something way better than what I had, which is why I always call this a collaborative process. 😉 May your keyboard never falter!

Anne Louise

Bookmark and Share

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Carolyn Howard-Johnson on 06.21.08 at 9:53 am

Dear Anne:
It is such a pleasure to have your column in my Sharing with Writers newsletter. I have already received new subscribers who are interested in humor. Yay for us. We are quite the team.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers

Leave a Comment