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HOW TO BECOME A COMEDY WRITER

Comedy writing is one of the most difficult domains of writing because it’s not something that you can learn from a degree or a course. Comedy writing is all about your creativity, aspirations, and personality. But this doesn’t mean that you can give up on your dream of being a comedy writer. All you need is certain pointers, certain skills, and habits that you need to adapt, and soon you can see yourself jotting down the jokes that you once heard somewhere and thought “Why didn’t I come up with this?”

The world of comedy writing is so diverse, that you have to first define a path for yourself. You have to decide for yourself if you want to be a comedy writer for the big screen, for a satirical article, or standup. The domains, as I implied might be different but the core of all of them is one and that is understanding what makes a joke from your head sound good to your reader. It might sound a bit difficult but with the necessary tips and pointers, you can start comedy writing right away. So, if you want to get into the world of comedy writing, I recommend you to follow the tips mentioned in this article.

Tips for comedy writing

Before you even start comedy writing, the first thing that you should do is to watch, study, and listen to as much comedy as you can. To adopt and write comedy, you must have a passion for it. Now the question here is how to adopt comedy. Well for a starter, if you want to be a standup comedy writer for hire, you can start by listening to the comedians perform their standups. Try to understand their pacing in between jokes or try to note down their delivery methods. If you want to write a comedy script, try to watch comedy shows and sitcoms. Try to read as many satirical novels or pieces that you can. Try to find your best fit and once you have narrowed down your niche, it’s time for you to move on to the next step.

No Idea is a Bad Idea

It’s about time that you start comedy writing. Comedy and jokes are something that is totally intuitional. So, jot down anything that comes into your mind. A bad joke of today that you might see of no use might become a punch line of the future. So, just don’t let an idea go waste. Good comedians are always writing down their jokes, ideas, and scripts.

Observe

Keenly observe and listen to jokes and even conservations with your friends. There might be something that turns out to be useful for you in the future. Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most prolific comedians of the modern era, according to him a good comedian can use any situation and any moment to his advantage.

“Funny is the world we live in. You are funny, I am interested. You’re not funny, I am interested.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Art of Comedy Writing

Now when you have developed a habit of writing down your thoughts and observing your surroundings, it’s about time that you get to the real deal and that is writing down your first piece.

Experiment with Your Words

Sometimes a joke in your head might lose its humor when you write it down just because your words didn’t justify its satirical nature. Try experimenting with your words, rewrite your jokes as many times as requires until you find the perfect word combination. Instead of trying some fancy vocabulary, try using words that are more of common use and try to use your expressions to make them sound more relatable and funny. Use words in a way that doesn’t affect the flow of your writing.

Be Creative

The art of comedy has been so long that there is a possibility of a joke being used already somewhere in some form. So, instead of totally giving up on that joke, try to be creative with it. Try to mold it in a way that it becomes your piece and attracts the attention of your audience. Just don’t give up on it because of the fear of people calling you a copycat, comedy is all about improvisation. Use this to your advantage.

Pace your Jokes Properly

Pacing your jokes in a way that they don’t disturb the flow of one another is the most important part of comedy writing. This is where you can keep your audience engaged or make them lose interest in your work. Try to pace your jokes in a way that they complement each other. They should work as a ladder, with each joke acting as a step for the next one.

Test out your work

Once you think that your joke, test it out. Try it on your family, spouse, or a group of friends. Try to get their recommendations and suggestions. This can help you make adjustments to your writing and at the same time give you confidence, hence working as a base for your future gigs.

“The four levels of comedy: Make your friends laugh, Make strangers laugh, Get paid to make strangers laugh, Make people talk like you because it’s so fun.” – Jerry Seinfeld

All in all, these are a few of the tips that you can adopt if you want to get into the world of comedy writing.

Pitch Your Ideas

Once you are comfortable with your ideas, start pitching in your ideas to different comedy clubs or magazines. Or if you want the easier way out, you can find many companies who are looking for comedy writers to hire for their gigs. So, keep an eye out for such jobs, and wherever you see the ad “Comedy Writer for Hire”, apply right away, who knows it might be the push that you need in becoming the best comedian of the future.

Moreover, go around to local comedy shows and meet with performers and pitch your work to them. This might give you a chance to get your work forward.

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