“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892)
This is one of my favorite quotes by an amazing, and often-forgotten writer, Oscar Wilde. I believe many people know a Wilde Quote or two, but don’t know much about him. Later, in our sections on biographies, we’ll give him omage.
But first, his advice as relates to style.
Here in the humorhandbook.com we’ll be looking at the history of humor, and even–at the very end–some theories that can help. But first and foremost the emphasis is on style and technique.
And when it comes to style, your goal should always be to find you own voice.
I have found in my own work that when I am telling my own stories, in my own way, and can be painfully honest, the humor shines brightest. This may be obvious. We all should aspire to be the best curators of our family narratives, but it is easy to forget when trying to adopt comedic techniques or set up a punchline.
So I encourage you take take the advice offered here with a huge caveat. Don’t forget to be who you are. Yes, you can adopt one or more comic personas, and you can create crazy characters galore. But through all this you should think about your world view, the way you think the universe is or should be.
Hold true to those principles, beliefs, and feelings. I promise you that over time, they will set you apart and gain you a loyal following. I can see this in so many of the humorists I admire, and you will learn more about them as the postings mount up on this website. But never forget rule #1. Never.
It can be lonely at first. I do admit it is weird typing a posting on a brand-new blog that has yet to gain a single follower, as measured by my social media tools. Sure, before I had even changed the default artwork, a bot wanted to befriend me. I know this because I am presently working on multiple projects–which I will later advise you against (spoiler alert-I can be terrible about following my own advice.) And on each social media account I have that was brand new and unique to that project, the same bot appeared. So, either I’m more famous than I know and already have a stalker, or the wonder of search-technology has a dark side.
Which do you think is more likely?
Yeah, me too.
So please stay tuned, and if you have any thoughts you’d like to share or questions you want to ask, look us up on Twitter @humorhandbook or Facebook @HumorHandbook.