How To Add Humor To Action – A Tip From The TV Show “Leverage”

Photo by TALUDA

Photo by TALUDA

Humor has the habit of showing up in the middle of action in everyday life. Like that all so-simple-seeming direction manual for your child’s Christmas toys… in Chinese or French. Or the overflowing washing machine that your puppy is scared of.

Yes, humor is often present right smack dab in the middle of action. Why? Because action often has unexpected reactions and everyone responds to a variety of experiences differently. The woman afraid of spiders may react completely different than the boy who collects them.

When two completely different types of people or animals are in the same situation the responses can be quite humorous.

Humor in the middle of action happens in real life, but how do we make it happen in our stories? That is a bit more tricky. Watching the TV Show Leverage  gave me a couple practical applications to try in my novel.

How To Add Humor To Action:

1. Ignoring common sense. In the following clip one of the characters does something completely in opposition to common sense.

2. Stating the obvious in reaction. In the same clip we see Eliot having to instruct Parker in common sense and then seeing her be snarky back.

3. Give something the opposite attention than it deserves. For example, getting hit by a car. (Check out the following clip.)

This also works when you over dramatize something silly. Seinfeld often uses that kind of humor.

4. Make the voice of reason be reasonable and dramatic in the same exchange. In the same clip as above, we see this with Hardison saying, “Nobody is going to kill anybody, except, girl Nate is going to kill you.”

What are some of your favorite examples of humor in the midst of action from your life, fiction, television, or movies?



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

2 thoughts on “How To Add Humor To Action – A Tip From The TV Show “Leverage”

  1. Examples are hard to come by right this minute, but I do like a lighter moment in the middle of a tense scene–it gives me a chance to breathe. 🙂

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