Humor Writing Basics (& a List of Funny Words)

“I regard the writing of humor as a supreme artistic challenge.”
–Herman Wouk

Writing “funny” isn’t easy. It’s a skilled labor that can drive even the calmest of writers crazy. I’ve been writing my parenting humor blog, The Life of Dad (you should totally check it out!), for more than five years and I can tell you that I’ve lost quite a bit of sleep over things as simple as word choice (Should I use the word “rope,” or is “duct tape” funnier?). I have permanent lumps on my head from banging it against the wall in frustration. And I’m convinced it’s the number one reason I’m going bald.

Yet no matter how many laughs I get, I’m always striving for more (even if it costs me every hair on my head).

That’s why I put together this list of excellent references that have helped me improve my humor writing skills—and will help you improve yours. These pieces include instruction on word choice, subtleties that induce laughter and an interview with the guy who created the famous Twitter handle @Sh*tMyDadSays. Here you go:

How to Write Better Using Humor

Word Play (How to Choose Funnier Words)

A List of Funny Words to Help You Writing Funnier Stories

How to Break into Comedy Writing on Television

Humor Phenom Justin Halpern’s (Sh*t My Dad Says) Uncensored Insights Into Writing

Hope these articles help you make your humorous stories funnier. I know they’ve helped me.
(By the way: Duct tape is definitely funnier.)

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
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4 thoughts on “Humor Writing Basics (& a List of Funny Words)

  1. mskreative

    Thanks for the book recommendations! I’ve read and enjoyed your funny dad blog. Parenting often brings me to tears, though – not laughter. Perhaps I should switch up my comedy routine and use funnier words with them. 🙂

  2. wepollard

    I’ve been wriing humor for over four years and the old saying is true, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Word choice is key to humor as well as the order of the words.

    Thanks for the links.


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