The First Two Pages: Should Have Played Poker and Comic Relief

Debra H. Goldstein

Why do people giggle in stressful situations? Some say the snicker is a nervous reaction that relieves the tension of the moment. Whether suppressed or a full chuckle, the laugh distracts both the person making the sound and the one hearing it. Different senses are impacted as the tee-hee is heard, the movement of the giggler’s body is felt or observed, and the thoughts and reactions being experienced are disrupted. In a written work, the addition of a scene, character, or even a single line as comic relief serves a similar purpose.

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