Writing Tips Round Up: Bring the funny4 min read

by Oct 31, 2017Tips0 comments

A weekly round up of writing advice and inspiration

“Have you ever been blasting through a first draft and you’re just so happy because you know exactly what should happen next, and your characters are practically writing their own lines, and you start the next joke, the setup’s great, and you dive into the punchline… and… technically you did just type something. Words where a punchline should be. But they’re not funny words.”

How do you fix a broken joke? Script Mag guides you through what to do when you hit a wall and guides you through the joke-healing process.

“Before a writer takes on any comedy writing project, they should answer these two questions — What type of comedy are we talking about? What type of comedy are you best at writing? Hopefully that would put you on your way to understanding the tone of the piece. Because tone in relation to comedy is absolutely critical.”

Go Into The Story‘s screenwriting “agony aunt” blog tackles the question “How do I approach writing jokes into a comedy script?” with gusto, looking deep into some of the most successful comedy writing teams and how they craft the perfect joke.

“Humor is one of the most diverse tools in the writer’s toolbox, making it unfortunate that so few people make proper use of it. Humor is often thought of as simply a cheap laugh, a way to add a lighthearted note to a story, and nothing more. In reality, the concept of humor is much more complex.”

Looking for some easy ways to add a little funny to your fiction? Live Write Thrive explores four scenarios in which you can add humour to your narrative, looking at tension, mood and situation.

“Humor can be used by writers to accomplish almost anything else, while entertaining at the same time. It’s like a blank tile in the game of Scrabble—useful for whatever else the writer needs: Once you include the form of a joke, it’s seen as the narrator or character being funny, while the words carry out their other tasks surreptitiously.”

Not used to adding funny to your fiction? In this Writer’s Digest article, Dean Gloster encourages you to introduce more humour into your stories even if your subject matter is serious – it’ll go a long way to making your characters more relatable.

“Writing a series in humour gives the writer time to develop their characters further. Characters have to develop otherwise they will seem like cardboard cut-outs. This means the humour can develop too. In the first story a naive character simply wouldn’t tell, for example, certain jokes. If over time, the character is shown to have lost their naivety, then it would be reasonable to show them now enjoying the jokes they wouldn’t have done in the beginning.”

Are you writing a full comedy series, à la Discworld? Allison Symes has some tips on how to keep your humour universal while allowing it to grow alongside your characters.

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