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Make Your Writing Funny – More Comedy Writing Books

A while ago, I listed my favorite books about comedy writing, but usually it’s a good idea to read as many books on a subject as you can. As such, here’s a couple more I’d like to recommend. They aren’t my personal favorites, but they’re useful enough that they’re worth a read. The Comedy Bible, by Judy Carter This one’s also geared around standup, but … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – More on Relationships

A long time ago when this column first began, I showed how you can use relationships to create comparisons with another idea. This is an easy way to get a laugh if you compare ideas that people are familiar with. Why, at one point, a “30 people who disliked this are Beiber fans” comment on a YouTube music video was clever for that very reason! … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – When Is It "Good Enough"?

Now, I’ll be honest with you, folks. I hate terrible writing. (You should see me debate the logistics of awful characterization in Japanese giant robot cartoons.) Naturally, I hate what I perceive as terrible comedy writing, and so I’ve always strided to create the best writing possible. This Became A Problem. I mean, this is perfectionism. It’s always a problem. Yeah, a desire for excellent … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – The Rule of Three

As I’ve mentioned before, you can’t milk a joke for too long, or it gets stale pretty quickly. The rule of three is a good…well, rule of thumb for keeping that in mind. It hits a sweet spot that Goldilocks would die for – not too long, but not so short that it loses the effect. Rule of three jokes work like a list, and … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – Keeping A Notebook

One of my favorite ways to stay sharp is to keep a notebook of various topics. Once you’ve developed the habit of keeping a notebook, you’ll have an easier time coming up with topics to write about, and you’ll even have a ready-made list of references for punchlines, which can really help speed up joke writing. A notebook can be filled with all kinds of … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – The 4 Principles Each Humor Writer Needs

Writing good humor involves a bag of tricks not everyone has on standby. It’s not something to be ashamed about – some people just aren’t meant for writing humor, just like I’m not meant to ever go back to Alabama. But if you want to increase your chances of success – and have a fun time – I’d recommend following these principles. 1. You gotta … read more

The Single Best Way To Develop Humor Writing Skills

Lately I’ve found that I’m one of those guys who only really learns his lesson once he’s made a buttload of big mistakes. On the one hand, big failures really suck and can get you down, but on the other, they’re a valuable tool in discovering what works best for you. But you’ve already heard this “failure is good” part before, I bet, so lemme … read more

How To Create Jokes On The Can

The following is a part of our Make Your Writing Funny series.  People who know me know that I talk to myself a lot. Hey, I was a lonely kid – no wonder I make an excellent conversational partner. Then again, I think one of my favorite cartoon characters summed it up best: “I simply have a penchant for INTELLIGENT conversation.” – Megatron, Beast Wars … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – My Favorite Comedy Writing Books

I used several great books to develop my comedy writing skills. I’ve been using this column to teach you bits and pieces from each of these, along with a mix of my own techniques, but if you want a more in-depth look, here’s what I recommend: The Comedy Writing Workbook, by Gene Perret I absolutely adore this book, and if you can get only one … read more

Make Your Writing Funny – How To Steal Jokes From Others (Somewhat)

In the world of fiction, copying passages from other stories and trying to publish them as your own is plagarism. In the world of comedy, it’s just another way to write. Of course, I don’t want you totally ripping off good one-liners verbatim. Instead, the best way to use other people’s jokes is as a starting point for your own original humor. Remember that jokes … read more