How Do You Write Laughter in Text?

When it comes to writing, depicting the right emotion can be a crucial part of storytelling. One such emotion is laughter, and myriad ways exist to express this in text. This guide will explore different techniques and approaches to indicate laughter in writing.

Describing Laughter

Describing laughter in writing can add depth to your characters. It is possible to use onomatopoeic expressions like ‘ha ha’ or ‘he he’, but remember to use them sparingly as they can sometimes pull readers out of the narrative or seem out of place in more serious prose.

Consider using detail to describe the laughter instead:

  • Belly laugh: a deep and hearty laughter
  • Bray: a harsh, loud laugh
  • Chortle: a soft, partly suppressed laugh
  • Snigger: a sly or mocking laugh
  • Giggle: a light, often nervous laugh

Generally, laughter can be depicted in these formats:

  • Indication through action: “John laughed.”
  • Dialogue tag: “‘That’s hilarious,’ John laughed.”
  • Laughter in dialogue: “‘Ha, ha, very funny John,’ he said sarcastically.”
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Alphabet Representations of Laughter

In recent years, especially within internet culture, many new, creative ways have evolved to represent laughter.

  • “LOL”: An acronym standing for ‘Laughing Out Loud’
  • “LMAO”: A funnier, exaggerated version of LOL, which stands for ‘Laughing My Ass Off’
  • “ROFL”: Signifies extreme amusement, standing for ‘Rolling On the Floor Laughing’
  • “XD”: An emoticon used to signify a laughing face
  • “Haha” or “Hehe”: Representations of actual laughter sounds

Using Laughter to Build Character

Laughter can also be an effective tool for character development. Each individual has a unique laugh, and the way a character laughs can add depth and personality dimensions. For instance, a character might have a loud booming laugh that turns heads or a soft giggle that’s barely heard.

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In conclusion, indicating laughter in writing involves a careful balance of description, physical attribution and dialogue. Remember that laughter is just one part of your character’s emotional spectrum. Consider the tone of your narrative, the personality of your characters and your audience’s expectations while writing laughter. Just like in real life, laughter in literature is infectious, thus use it effectively to engage your readers!

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