I hope you’ve enjoyed our recent posts on Make ‘em cry, make ‘em laugh, make ‘em wait

You’ll remember that Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) gets credit for that advice, though he said he borrowed the idea from the music hall; some speculate he borrowed it from Dickens.

Whatever its origin, speakers and writers follow that advice for obvious reasons: it keeps audiences engaged

In writing your memoir, then, “Make ‘em cry, make ‘em laugh, make ‘em wait.” I prefer to change Collins’ orderin many cases, I like to make ‘em laugh before I make ‘em cry

Next week we’ll look at making ‘em cry, but today, we’ll finish with “make ‘em laugh.”

Remember: humor helps draw readers to you. It encourages bonding and allows readers to be involved with you in your story

Humor makes you seem real. You are no longer a vague author lurking in shadows. Instead, your reader has spent a happy time with you and, as a result, she likes youShe wants to know you better

And there’s a lot to be said about combining vulnerability with humor

“The blend of vulnerability and humorwrites pastor Chuck Swindollestablished an instant connection that allowed what I had to say to slip past their defenses andfind a warm welcome in their hearts

Chuck’s advice works for memoirists. He goes on to say:

Humor will help you ‘say it well.’ When handled with care, humor will also endear you to your audiences, who will then give you greater access to their heartsTouching Others With Your Words

If you missed recent posts on making ‘em laugh

in your memoir, click on the links below.

And be sure to come back next week for “make ‘em cry.”

“Make ‘em cry, make ‘em laugh, make ‘em wait.”

Humor in your memoir: “like a sneak attack”

Use humor the right way in your memoir

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