Witty Comebacks

Yeah, You and what army?I am the queen of snappy comebacks.  Witty repartee.  Having just the right response for every insult or witty remark

As long as you ask me later, after I’ve had time to think about it, to come up with the best zinger I can.  These things take planning. And there’s that whole “Hindsight is 20/20” thing.

What’s that you say?  You too?  Well, I’ll be…

Being full of words means that I have quite the arsenal to work with.  But it doesn’t mean I’m particularly fast at it.  But as a writer, I can often use those little snippets of responses (and perhaps the insult or witty remark that started it) in my stories.  My heroines are quite amusing, usually ready with a quick, witty response in any situation.  They can crack a joke like a seasoned stand-up professional.  After all, they have access to many years’ worth of witty responses I’ve carefully collected and cataloged over the years.  It might as well be put to good use.

And I like sharp-tongued, quick-witted characters.  Not the mean, painful kind, but those with a quick, amusing response that makes me smile or outright laugh.  Quick comebacks and humor-filled answers can break up an intense scene, relieving tension and stress on the reader.  An intense thriller can be great, but you need a break here and there to allow the reader to catch their breath.

I just wish I could come up with these zingers when I need them in real life.  Seems such a shame to be able to come up with them later, when they do much less good!

Do you use humor, witty one-liners, and comebacks in your novels?  Why?  Do your own humorous scenes sometimes make you laugh out loud? Tell me about it in the comments!


14 thoughts on “Witty Comebacks

  1. I hear ya Susabelle. I usually think of a perfect comeback much, much later. It’s a good thing I’m a writer and can go back in time and edit any response I want to. At least until the book is published. Have fun in San Diego!

    • Thanks, Jana! It is one of my favorite places, and even though I’ll be stuck inside most of the day for 10 hours a day, I will have those wonderful California nights. 🙂

  2. Yes, i love a witty comeback and use them often in my books. I think laughter and humor are important in a romance or any book for that matter. In real life, you have serious moments and silly or clutzy moments. That keeps life interesting. So should your books. However when I need them in real life, my mind goes blank until a while later and the perfect zinger pops into my mine. Oh, well such is life. Have a great weekend.

  3. I’m so jealous right now. I wish I could write humor. I real life I love comedy. I watch standup comedians and sit coms. Even my family, especially my husband are great at telling a funny story. Me – not so much.
    And as for witty comebacks – never. Not in this life time, anyway.
    I can’t even think of a good comeback after the fact. My mind just doesn’t work that way. So you see, when I say I’m jealous I mean it. Even though you can’t say the comebacks at the time you can say them later in your work. Some of us don’t even have that.

  4. And here I thought it was just me who needed time to think. When I was fresh out of college, I lived with a bunch of comedians. No, literally. At one point, I was the only roommate who wasn’t part of the local improv troupe (ImprovBoston). Talk about feeling slow with the comebacks!

    Have a wonderful trip!

    • Don’t feel bad, Katie. I’m married to a clown/stand-up comedian. I am never going to beat that. People often say to me, “isn’t it great living with a funny guy?” No, it’s kind of like living with Jim Carrey – funny for the first 30 days, then you’ve heard it all! HAH!

  5. Like you I’m “slow on my feet”. Drives my ADHD husband absolutely nuts. He thinks if I don’t respond to him immediately I haven’t heard him or am ignoring him. I think most writers are like us and need time to process things.

    And I really enjoy humor in books. It’s a gift I don’t really have, although I can sometimes make my modern heroines say a clever line or two. Harder in my historicals, where things are more serious and the humor has to be more subtle.

    Enjoy your trip. San Diego must be lovely this time of year. They’ve had enough rain to get things blooming, at least for now.

    • San Diego is usually beautiful this time of year, and I soak up that California sun all I can. We just had snow here in Colorado, so that’s always a nice change. 🙂

  6. I’m one of those who should use more time before I speak, but don’t. My family has dubbed me the Queen of Sarcasm.

  7. I have arrived safe and sound in San Diego. Sunny and just shy of 70 degrees. Snow on the ground when I left Colorado. You’d better believe I’m going to soak up some California! I’m off to Coronado right now, to take advantage of the afternoon. 🙂

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