I find this is probably one of my favourite parts of all YA fantasy novels. It’s not the highest form of humour but I just love characters, I love their interactions and I love when those interactions are funny.
I also tend to be quite bantery in real life. And yes, I do know bantery is definitely not a word but do you have a better way to describe it? Then great, tell me, because I like learning new things, thanks.
Yet, despite the fact I include this kind of dialogue in my books, I don’t have a specific method, probably because I do it irl and it’s kind of natural to me. So I started paying more attention to my own real life conversations and here are some tricks I’ve figured out:
1.- Taking expression literally or purposefully misunderstanding. Example: “It’s so hot out there, it’s like hell.” “Oh, I mean… well all figured you were going to hell but it’s a little early, you’re only like twenty!”
2.- Using somebody else’s words against them. Example: “I’m going to be the leader.” “Wait, wait, wait, are you sure?” “Why would I be unsure?” “Two months ago, in your mother’s house, you said to me, in front of a dead plant to never let you in charge of anything.”
3.- Messing with expectation. Example: A roommate joked the other day about how the house needed to be clean to make her sister who was visiting think she has a good life. I responded with, “you do have a good life, cool flat, amazing roommates, adorable cats and a then there’s your boyfriend but you can’t have everything.”
4.- Exaggeration, plus agreeing with that exaggeration. Example: “I am the worst human being on the entire planet,” says my protagonist after spilling a cup of her favourite tea. “Glad we agree,” responds my male lead while sipping his coffee.
5.- Jokes in high tense moments. Example: “We’re going to do this, and we’re going to do this right. You know why? Because the world is at stake.” “The world?” Character B pretends to be shocked, “I wasn’t briefed correctly and would like to ask for for three time the pay!” “I accept because we’re not being paid.” “I am an amazing negotiator.”
There’s probably more, but these are the five I knew how to put into words and could think of examples for.