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Gumbee Fantasy Writers ‘do’ Humour, wit and character conversation: Number 2 Marcus Pailing

by on June 10, 2013

The Gumbee Fantasy Writers' Guild

The difficulty of attempting to include humour in a fantasy novel is summed up very nicely by Diana Wynne Jones, in her superb book on the clichés and tropes of fantasy writing, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (1996):

Jokes are against the Rules, except for very bad cumbersome jokes cracked by Guards, Mercenaries, Other Peoples and servitors. (It is believed that the Management actually thinks these are very good jokes, and treasures them.) Everyone else must be deadly serious, although the Small Man, some Wizards and most bad Kings are allowed to have a sense of humour …

Some writers (including many of my esteemed colleagues of the Gumbee Fantasy Writers’ Guild) manage to pull it off, and we all know how successful Terry Pratchett is.

Personally, I find it very difficult to write humour, and have tended to avoid it where I can. However, I do like…

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