Laugh When the Characters Joke

“Why, gentlemen, what have we here?” Cathy said, holding a small pouch.  “It appears that the Prince travels armed with a pistol and a bag of shot.”
“Is it by any chance a half inch bore, ma’am?” Sir William asked her.  “We could use more bullets for those sanctified pistols you bear.”
“Why, it is,” she answered.  “And as to barrel size, Sir William, you know that I favor a larger gun myself, but in a pinch a girl must make do with what she can find.”  Cathy pocketed the powder and shot under the baleful glare of the Prince of Shreveport and his wife.
“One hopes one’s gun is large enough,” Sir William muttered.

*   *   *



Sometimes, I let the characters themselves tell jokes.  Really, for these to work for me, they have to be character moments, and not just humor in a vacuum.  In the above example, the heroes are hijacking the carriage and ball costumes of the Prince of Shreveport and his party.  Cathy has been carrying around half-inch bore pistols (stolen from a church) for which she has no powder or shot; she and Sir William have years of unconsummated erotic tension between them.


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