How to be Funny by Natalie
As the focus for this month is comedy, the focus of this article will be on how one can step out of their comfort zone and get that inner comedian to work on a piece or two. Whether you only write with comedy in mind or the thought of turning your serious/realistic writing tone scares you a little, it is a topic someone (as a writer especially) should dabble in. Here are some pointers for you that I’ve gathered for writing as a comic (or just how to be funny in general):
- Don’t overthink it! As a writer who tends to dwell on the meaning of what I create, it can be difficult to write comedy without thinking about every possible reaction to a sentence. I know many people have the same sort of mental process, so from one over-analyzer to another, don’t worry too much about the content. If you give yourself room to doubt that excellently placed joke, you may never find out if the reader would have liked it or not.
- Random does NOT equal funny. In most instances, random doesn’t always have comedic value. Using the element of surprise or “randomness” should be a special treat you give your reader, not every other punchline. The unexpected can be funny, don’t get me wrong, but overusing that can not only make the story/piece boring, but maybe even a little annoying.
- Read it to yourself. I have found that if I read my own jokes out loud, they don’t sound as cool as I thought they were in the first place. Depending on the context of your piece, it may be a wise idea to read a draft or two to a trusted friend. You may not even have to read the whole thing, just a few of your favorite parts. Get some constructive criticism and make the best of it! (Be careful, though, remember tip #1!)
- Keep your readers on the edge of their seat. Even though this is a super obvious tip for any piece of writing, I feel like I need to emphasize it especially for comedy. Keeping a reader interested and entertained in a funny way can be more difficult to do than having someone hooked on a fantasy novel. Although both of these things can come naturally to different people, it’s good to keep this tip in mind anyway.
- Be relatable. If any of you have been on the internet lately, I can assume you know what a “meme” is. Most of them have funny captions, images, and even stories. Have you ever wondered what makes them so funny? They’re relatable! As humans we love seeing that other people feel/act the same way; that has comedic value. If you’ve ever seen stand-up comedy you’d see that they do the same thing: act relatable! If this fits with the type of writing you’d plan on doing, I’d highly recommend this tactic.
I hope you can take these tips and apply them to this month’s writing theme (or at least gained some knowledge on how to be funnier to your friends) and use them to your advantage. As usual, the internet is a great place to find extensive tips and tricks for just about any type of writing you can imagine. Use those resources and good luck!