Funny or No?

We’ve all heard it. All the surveys say it’s true. But is it really? Is a sense of humor on a man really all that sexy? I say, YES! A man has to be able to make me laugh. It’s imperative. And he has to be able to turn any joke (or innocent statement) into a sexual innuendo. But that might be just me.

Anyway, what about humor in romances? I read all the time how every girl wants that Alpha male to take charge and carry her up the winding staircase (Rhett anyone?) but would that really be all that sexy if he couldn’t make some hot little joke to make you laugh along the way? Do you really want him to have that serious (bordering on angry) look on his face all the time? I would hate that. I want his face to light up and I want to be able to laugh together until our sides hurt.

I’m struggling with this balancing act in my WIP. If someone asked me to describe my part in a social gathering my first response would be comic relief. I’m that person who will make a joke when it gets too quiet or someone says something awkward. Or I can turn any innocent statement into a sexual innuendo. I’m starting to see a pattern here. But I’m also angsty and I like angst in my romance. I want tears and tugging on my heart strings and I want to feel like these two have struggled enough they deserve to be together and happy already. But where is the line between the two.

I would not say my current WIP is a romantic comedy but there are plenty of laughs. Some elicit a chuckle and some might even make you LOL. But there are also moments you want to hug one of the characters or slide down the wall, curl up in a ball and cry with the other.

Is it possible for these elements to work together? How important is humor in your romance? How about angst? And Maggie (Maggie Robinson means Romance on right column) was sweet enough to do the scientific research to determine Tall, Dark and Handsome is still at the top of the heap. Does your TD&H have to be able to make you laugh? Or is the fact he can lift our fat asses up the stairs enough?

14 thoughts on “Funny or No?”

  1. irisheyes says:

    Ter – If, God forbid, I ever get hit by a truck, my DH would be right up your alley. He can take the most innocent statement (believe me I make them all the time) and turn it into sexual innuendo! I say he has a sickness (sex on the brain). He says he has a gift! Again… perspective!

    I think we may have discussed this before, but we’re definitely on the same page on this one. I think a sense of humor is very important and I love it in my heroes!

    The element you have to make sure your hero has is that twinkle in his eye or lopsided grin that makes him a mischievious little boy rather than a chauvinistic, degrader of women ass! My DH falls into the first category. I think, basically, it’s because he loves women. He’s not chauvinistic or demeaning and usually it’s a private joke between he and I that no one else is in on.

    I also think that angst and humor go well together. Real life (at least mine) is rarely ever all drama or all humor. It’s a combination of both. My DH have been through a lot, but even in the most dire circumstances he’s been known to point out the absurd or say something really hilarious. Maybe that’s just us, but I don’t think it has to be an either/or situation. I think it can be both!

  2. terrio says:

    You know, Irish. You might not want to step in front of my car anytime soon. LOL!

    I just have to be able to laugh and the worst is when they don’t get the joke. Gah! I can’t stand stupid or obtuse men. If he can’t keep up with me with a witty come back we’re doomed.

    I just wonder when I’m writing if the person who reads this is going to think I’m schizo or they get whiplash from switching from funny to endearing to hot and back to funny again.

  3. Janga says:

    Terri, there is a Bookbug page where 200 or so romance novelists, including some of the biggest names in the busness, identify the qualities of the ideal hero. I find it interesting that the two qualities mentioned most frequently–by a wide margin–are a sense of honor and a sense of humor. I figure without the first you can’t trust him and without the latter, you can’t live with him. LOL!

    I also think shared humor is true intimacy. I am not sure that I could be friends with someone I couldn’t laugh with, much less fall in love with him.

  4. terrio says:

    Oh Janga, you always make my day. There is a scene in my WIP very early on with the h/h where they barely know each other and are very uncomfortable trying to talk. Then something funny happens and they laugh together. Somehow that changes everything.

    And that sense of honor is a biggie. I want him to make me laugh but if I can’t respect him and believe in him the it could never work.

  5. I think the story sounds great. I think any drama needs some comic relief. I mean I don’t mind some crying, but I certainly don’t want to be a wreck!lol.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank God I’m no longer courting! I well remember the agony and the ecstacy though

    In the evenings I can now relax in my favourite arm chair wearing my favourite slippers, sipping a glass of my favourite malt and plotting my next drabble. I can also listen to Mozart with my favourite wife……Ah such is wedded bliss!

    Sorry to gloat Ladies *extremely wicked grin*

    Hey Terri where are the smilies?

    luvs yah

  7. terrio says:

    Kelly – that’s true. I’ve read books where I cried the whole way and there are times those are good but I have to be in that mood.

    Q – if you were still courting you’d be snapped up in an instant. They don’t make ’em like you anymore…*sigh* And I don’t know how to put smilies in here but I’ll see if I can figure it out.

  8. LOL, Terri, thanks for the plug. Just call me Dr. Robinson, Romance Researcher. I love Janga’s humor/honor thing. And yes, I think you can (and probably should) combine tears/joy in your wip. It sounds like a slice of real life. Even in the depressingly dark thing I’m working on now, I keep having lighter moments creep in. I can’t seem to help it…which makes me think I’m really not cut out to go on over to the dark side. 🙂

  9. terrio says:

    Maggie Robinson, PhD. That’s sounds about right. Don’t you dare abandon that dark side now. I’m waiting for that story with bated breath. *g*

    And I’m not sure how to put the link right in there so that was the best way I could think to do it. LOL!

  10. Tessa Dare says:

    I don’t need a guy to be a laugh a minute, but if he can’t laugh at himself from time to time, it gets real old, real fast. I don’t get along well with people who take themselves too seriously.

    Rhett is one of my models for Gray – gah, I miss him.

  11. Santa says:

    You have to be able to laugh at life. It’t too dire otherwise. Sure, it’s great if TDH can carry me up the stairs but he has to be able to laugh at the fact that he’s out of breath and clutching his side when we get to the top!

  12. terrio says:

    Tessa & Santa – you are both so right. I mean I don’t want a little boy that can’t be serious but he has to be able to loosen up.

    Then again I don’t like that mean sense of humor. If the jokes are at someone else’s expense and mean spirited then it’s bye bye.

  13. Santa says:

    Yes, laughter at another’s expense does not qualify as having a great sense of humor.

    However, in my GWTW, I am also laughing at the top of the stairs because TDH keeps putting his hand on my ticklish spot and wouldn’t stop climbing even as I was swatting about the head!!

  14. TiffinaC says:

    You have to have a sense of humour. Have too! I like Tall Dark and Handsome, I love Alpha, cause you know I’m a lot of woman for any man to handle *g* but a sense of humour gives a man that something something we all need. You gotta be able to laugh in life, all serious and no play would make me angsty.

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