Humor Writing Basics (& a List of Funny Words) - Writer's Digest

Humor Writing Basics (& a List of Funny Words)

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. Read on for some excellent resources on humor writing.
Author:
Publish date:

"I regard the writing of humor as a supreme artistic challenge."
--Herman Wouk

Brian-The-Life-Of-Dad

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
Read my Dad blog: TheLifeOfDad.com
Sign up for my free weekly eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg
plot_twist_story_prompts_fight_or_flight_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Fight or Flight

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's fighting time.

Garfield

Vintage WD: 10 Rules for Suspense Fiction

John Grisham once admitted that this article from 1973 helped him write his thrillers. In it, author Brian Garfield shares his go-to advice for creating great suspense fiction.

Pennington_10:21

The Chaotically Seductive Path to Persuasive Copy

In this article, author, writing coach, and copywriter David Pennington teaches you the simple secrets of excellent copywriting.

Grinnell_Literary Techniques

Using Literary Techniques in Narrative Journalism

In this article, author Dustin Grinnell examines Jon Franklin’s award-winning article Mrs. Kelly’s Monster to help writers master the use of literary techniques in narrative journalism.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 545

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a cleaning poem.

new_agent_alert_amy_collins_talcott_notch_literary_services

New Agent Alert: Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

5_tips_for_writing_scary_stories_simone_st_james_horror_novels_hauntings

5 Tips for Writing Scary Stories and Horror Novels

Bestselling and award-winning author Simone St. James shares five tips for writing scary stories and horror novels that readers will love to fear.

on_vs_upon_vs_up_on_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

On vs. Upon vs. Up On (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use on vs. upon vs. up on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.