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

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

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

Make Your Writing Funny: Improving Diction of Humor

Humor’s on a different level than other forms of writing when it comes to readability. In fiction you can afford to be elaborate, but humor needs to fire right out of the gate or it’ll flop. That being said, it’s all too easy to pass over unneccessary words that make a joke weaker. How do you catch these? Simple. Just read it out loud and

Make Your Writing Funny: Poking Fun at Others

One of the best parts about humor writing is that it’s a perfectly acceptable way to make fun of people. When you just call someone a moronic, womanizing jerk, that’s mean. When you compare someone’s love life to a McDonald’s takeout lane, that’s witty. Of course, you have to be careful of whom you mock. Using a joke like that against a celebrity or a

Recovering from Poorly Received Material

I like to think I create good comedy on a consistent basis. But sometimes I write a stinker, something so dreadful that I cringe whenever I think about it. One example is an article I wrote for another website where I criticized photos in a ranting, raving style. Commentors hated it. It’s feedback I won’t forget any time soon. Confronting the impact of your work

Conveying Different Forms of Humor

Comedy exists in a variety of forms – there’s observational comedy, improv, one-liners, slapstick, satires, spoofs, what have you. These forms of comedy have been used in a ton of mediums as well, ranging from witty articles to humorous fiction, to sitcoms and movies. Comedy is a Swiss army knife of its own kind. As a freelance writer, though, you’re stuck with writing, and not

Make Your Writing Funny – The Writing Process

It’s been a most triumphant few months doing this column. Over that time, I’ve covered the basics of comedy writing, talked about ways to integrate humor into forms of writing most freelancer writers are wont to do…I’ve even covered comedy inspirations from time to time. This time I’d like to give you an insight into how I write all the funny bits I do. Just

Make Your Writing Funny – Funny Christmas Special Inspirations

Christmas is just about the corner, and since a lot of people seemed receptive to my last article about comedy inspirations, I figured I’d bring you some more in time for the holidays. These are a few of my favorite Christmas specials, movies, and episodes. Not only are they fun, but they can help give you the inspiration to write something of their caliber on

Make Your Writing Funny – Using (And Not Abusing) Puns

Now, it’s often said that puns are the lowest form of comedy. And when you have a friend who is constantly making terrible puns to you like I do, it’s easy to agree. And when you come across forum threads and videos of countless David Caruso one-liners, the case for the pun declines quickly. But a clever pun, used sparingly, can be an awesome joke

Make Your Writing Funny: Comedy Inspirations

If you’re reading this column the day it went up, Happy Thanksgiving! At least, I really hope today’s Thanksgiving. It’s one of the few holidays I know that won’t stick to an actual date because it needs “freedom in its schedule” and “I think we should be seeing other holidays” and all that. Anyway, this is Thanksgiving so this week’s gonna be a lazy column

Make Your Writing Funny: Creating Humorous Captions for Pictures

You know, adding the right picture to a blog post makes it look better and helps break up the flow of words into something more pleasing to look at. I’m all for it. But sometimes, don’t you think a photo by itself looks kinda…bland? Or you have an outlandish photo and you just can’t resist commenting on it? That’s when you should consider adding a

Make Your Writing Funny: 4 Tricks To Successfully Write Funny Anecdotes

This week, the A-List Blogging Bootcamp began their six-week camp on writing like an A-List Blogger. The first week is free, and it details how to use personal stories to enhance your blog and make your posts more interesting. But sometimes retelling personal stories can be tricky. Have you ever been involved in a scenario that was so hilarious that you had to tell everyone?

Make Your Writing Funny: Exaggerating Details

One of the easiest and funnest ways to joke about something is to exaggerate a detail about it. You’ve been subjected to a “yo momma” joke before, I bet. Maybe fired off a few yourself? We’re basically going to be writing those, except a bit more…refined. And you DON’T have to pick on anyone’s weight if you want to. Fortunately, walking you through this week’s

Make Your Writing Funny: How to Develop Improv Skills by Yourself

The best kind of jokes are the ones that pop fully formed into your head. Somehow your mind makes that instant connection, that instant relationship between two ideas, and forms a zinger that totally kills. The only problem is that this doesn’t happen often, at least not enough to make it your only comedy writing technique. Still, if you develop the skill of improvisational comedy,

Make Your Writing Funny: Writing Humorous Character Reactions

In the last article, we talked about creating humorous characters for fiction. Now that we’ve done that, let’s toss them into the pit and actually get ’em to do funny stuff. Remember that a humorous character is just a normal character that has exaggerated traits or expresses his personality in an exaggerated way. And the reactions DON’T have to be overblown – even very subtle,

Make Your Writing Funny: Creating Humorous Fictional Characters

Sprinkling some gags into an article is one thing, but add humor to a funny fictional story is a whole new bucket of fish. There are definitely jokes in humorous fiction, but since you’re also trying to create atmosphere, normal one-liners often don’t slide very well into a story. If a joke doesn’t feel like a natural puzzle piece in the whole equation, it’s easy

Make Your Writing Funny: Implying Punchlines for Better Humor

The technique I’m going to discuss this week doesn’t need to be used all the time. Sometimes a great joke is straightforward. Sometimes it doesn’t need to get clever with its wording – it just twists the assumption in such an unexpected way that the twist is funny all on its own. Use your better judgment. If a joke’s effective and clever on its own,

Make Your Writing Funny: Using Relationships To Create Humorous Comparisons

We started off whole this humor-writing adventure with the basic technique of twisting an assumption. This week I’d like to show you a new trick for making comedy – exploiting common relationships. I personally like this technique over the other because it’s a lot more versatile. Mind you, anyone who goes spelunking in the comedy mines will need every pickaxe they can get, but I

Make Your Writing Funny: Adding Humor to Articles, Columns, and Blog Posts

Now we can actually slide some humor into your writing. Let’s keep it simple for now – we’ll start by adding some funny bits into articles, columns, blog posts…any kind of straight, informative writing. It’s all about using the right lines at the right times. Strategic application is key, like you’re going to war with your article or something. The optimal rule to follow: once