Craft Monday: Writing Comedy

bigstock-reading-78632435_SMOur featured author from last week, Renci Denham, has a funny writing voice. By that we don’t mean weird funny, we mean ha-ha funny. Her writing voice is quirky, dry and at times sarcastic. We think she comes by it naturally. Check out her Q&A and you’ll see what we mean.

But what if you want to write “funny” but aren’t naturally funny? Is it something you can learn? We investigated some writing blogs/sites and found that some believe you can.
In this article from September 2012, PJ Reece of shares his notes and impressions from interviewing several comedians. In it he says humor isn’t necessarily funny; it’s a balance between plausible and implausible. It’s logical. It’s truthful.
Favorite quote: “Humor is about the bare-assed truth.

Conversely, in this post on, comic Leigh Anne Jasheway suggests thinking like a comedy writer can improve your writing. If comedy writing is your goal, however, Jasheway lays out ten points to help, from exposing yourself (not in a creepy way…she means sharing your writing in public forums), to putting yourself in the proper (playful) frame of mind when you sit down to write.

Favorite quote: “…the reckless act of trying to be funny can free any writer from the fear of taking chances and boost creativity in unexpected ways.”

A few years back, the authors at ran a series on comedy writing, starting with the “Four Commandments to Writing Funny” by Gen Y writer/blogger Paul Angone (of All Groan Up fame). In brief, his commandments tackle the necessity to offend, to observe the every-day, to play with clichés to use metaphors and similes.

Favorite quote: “Jerry Seinfeld wasn’t funny because he could do impersonations, or was overly animated or creative. He was funny because he told the truth about the mundane. He touched on those taboo simple subjects that we all experience but don’t realize.”