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6 Tips for Successful Comedy Writing

Romantic comedies need laughs, but not tons of them. Sweet Home Alabama wasn’t a laugh a minute. Neither was Legally Blonde, but it was funnier and had a higher concept. The thing is, depending upon the kind of comedy you’re writing, you may not need to be as funny as these guys.

In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings. It is in this sense that Dante used the term in the title of his poem, La Commedia. I used to hear people refer to Sex and The City as a sitcom. No one watched Sex and The City for the humor , as opposed to Seinfeld, Family Guy or 30 Rock.

Still, the best comments I’ve seen are by Terry Pratchett and Elmore Leonard which were shared by the Guardian on Twitter. Don’t try and be funny for the sake of it. Humour needs to evolve and present itself naturally. If you chuck in a slapstick moment when your story doesn’t need it, it can disengage the reader. I’ve also highlighted some common mistakes made by authors trying to write humorous tales so you can avoid them.


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Bear that in mind when writing for adults. While some of us still smirk when we drop a violently aromatic guff in a confined space shared with a loved one, it doesn’t always translate into a gripping focus for a story’s plot. Here’s an example from one of my stories. In ‘Shot in the Head and Left For Dead’ the main character, Dave, is in a band. He’s playing at Wembley Stadium in London and half the crowd have turned into zombies. It’s the way Dave observes, describes and reacts to what he’s seeing that makes the situation amusing.

This post contains lots of comedy writing tips and advice to help you pen a successful funny short story. Reader’s Digest consistently publishes jokes, humorous quotes, and funny stories for both their monthly print magazine and their website. They accept anything from knock-knock jokes to riddles. To learn more, read their submission guidelines. There are many comedy writing jobs within the entertainment industry, and they’re in high demand. You can find entry level comedy writing jobs as well as more experienced opportunities.

That’s true in more ways than one – emphasize the punch-lines to your jokes, emphasize specificity, and emphasize contradictions. We encourage cross-posting and re-posting from other blogs and will link to other blogs upon request, when appropriate. Authors will retain copyright of their posts.

Learn the fundamentals of what makes people laugh – styles, delivery methods, writing outlets, niches. Join a writer’s group to bat around ideas. Every comedy writer also has a humorous style. They may write jokes, spit out one liners, use sarcasm, perform sketch comedy, tell stories, make shocking comments, perform slapstick, do impressions, or make insults. What may work well in a stand up act may not work as well in a children’s sitcom or a comedy skit. Knowing what type of humor works where will help a comedy writer fine tune his writing.