Monthly Archives: March 2018

Dying is easy…


Wocka Wocka! These are the jokes, folks!

Last night, I gave an odd and wandering (as is my wont) little talk about infusing humor into one’s writing for The Hook’s Write Night. I had Fozzie Bear along. I read the introduction to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I told a Sarah Tiana joke (which, it perhaps goes without saying, she tells better than I do).

None of this helped me write a new scene for The Sequel. But in the interest of not forgetting my own advice, here are the things I said were important to consider when trying to be funny on the page:

  1. Think about what/who you think is funny. Then think hard about why you find that material/person funny. What is the mechanism at work? How can you replicate it?
  2. The setup is at least as important as the punchline. Screw up the setup and you can’t land the joke, no matter how good the punchline is.
  3. Give some thought to the purpose of the humor. What are you trying to do — and why?
  4. Context is important. Some humor only works if the people reacting to it have enough context to get the joke. This goes well beyond a good setup; this is about knowing to whom your talking.

Oh, and then I read a snippet of Murder by the Slice that I’m pretty sure I’ve never read in public before. Happy to say: it got a laugh.

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