Humor & Comedy Writing

Writing funny is one of the hardest forms of the craft. You may have a great sense of humor, but capturing that in your writing takes skill and practice. Here you’ll learn techniques for doing just that – comedy writing.

The Roeder Report:
Who Needs an Outline

Wherever I go, everyone wants to know how I assemble the columns they occasionally skim once they’ve finished Writer’s Digest’s useful content. Well, I describe my writing process like this: “Writing is like driving. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip—what the hell was...

The Roeder Report:
Just Trying to Be Nice

A few years ago, I shared a short story with my writing group. It was a speculative work that dared to ask, “What if the circus took over the world?” The comments above were the three most encouraging I received from my cohorts. Of the two remaining members of my group,...

This Writer’s Life:
Instant Blogification

In late 2006, my editor at Writer’s Digest called me with an idea. “We’re putting together some blogs for our website. Do you want in?” At the time, I was wary of the whole blogosphere. I’d been under the impression that blogs were just online dream journals for tech-savvy, angst-ridden teenagers...

The Four Commandments of Writing Good Sentences

If you want to write a good sentence, don’t pay any attention to your grammar. I don’t mean “a sentence this like OK is.” I mean don’t automatically think you’ve written a good sentence just because it’s grammatically correct. Lots of bad sentences...

Challenging the Limits of Memory

In this excerpt from Writing Life Stories, Bill Roorbach teaches you how to pay attention to and translate your memories and how to overcome your resistance to remembered places and events.

The Roeder Report:
Importance of Writing Environment

I’m writing this piece in a coffee shop. I know, I know, you think of a coffee shop as a place where people slurp down their lattes as fast as burn prevention allows before leaping from their seats to make room for the next customer; a place where, if you dawdle...

Word Play

Language holds a key role in writing humor. Here are six steps to help you find the perfect word to nail a punchline.