Comedy Writing

Tips for Successful Comedy Writing

It is a no-brainer that today’s generation goes head over heels over sitcoms. One of the primary reasons for such genres’ popularity is the connection to the audience. The success of Netflix series like The Office, Friends, and many more is due to their humor and out-of-the-world script writing.

Comedy writing is one of the most challenging forms of script writing. This is because the type of comedy you write must affect the audience; if it isn’t funny enough, your script is a flop!

However, the good news is, like any other skill, comedy writing also follows specific techniques that can improve with practice. You can read further to learn the techniques!

What is comedy writing?

According to American stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld, comedy writing is a secret art that is not pursued by many. By definition, comedy writing is a genre of creative writing that is intended to be funny. Although there are a lot of other technicalities involved in comedy writing, the primary intent of this form of writing is to make the audience laugh!

You’re only as good as your last joke!

However, this genre of writing provides ample room for improvement. Hence, there are various ways by which you can improve your humor writing skills.

Build Comedy around characters

A rookie comedy writer may start writing with the premise in mind, which can ultimately backfire during showtime. Although making the audience laugh must be your primary priority, it is not everything! Building characters and emphasizing the stories behind these characters can go a long way in comedy writing.

Exaggrate about a situation

Comedy Writing

Once you build characters, create situations and build funny stories around the situation. You don’t have to be funny in life to make people laugh! It would be to find a balance between humor and the story in your script that is relatable to the audience.

Practice on others

Humor is a factor that connects the writer and the audience. If you’re writing for a crowd, test your writing on professionals instead of friends and family. You could start with your best joke or punch-line in the first minute when the audience is highly skeptical.

Don’t forget to have fun.

Before you make people laugh, you have to loosen up and stay in the zone. Comedy writing is a difficult genre, and it takes utter dedication and many years of hard work to reach an extent in the field. Hence, at every step, you have to have fun!

Things to avoid in comedy writing

Although no topic is considered off-limits, especially in comedy writing, it is recommended to follow specific unwritten rules to deliver a masterpiece. Some of them are listed below:

  • It is best to avoid matters of sensitivity.
  • “Read the room” before writing anything funny. You can create a persona for your audience and stick to it.
  • It is best to avoid zany and silly elements from your script, as it might create an awkward environment, let alone make people laugh.
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