Friday, May 30, 2014

A Writer, Editor, and Comedian Walk into a Bar ...

Day 17 / 30-Day Writing Challenge

Last Friday's blog inspired me to create Friday Funny, posting amusing bits on the English language. Naturally it follows that today, Friday, I have nothing funny, clever, or amusing to share.

So I'm taking a different tack.

What's that saying? Something like, tell me a joke and I laugh for a second. Teach me how to write one, and I laugh for a lifetime.

Like any genre, there's a real craft to joke writing.

In his blog Creating a Comic, stand-up comedian CJ Alexander posts a joke anatomy lesson: A joke has three parts. The Setup is connected to the Punchline, which is connected to the (optional) Tags. CJ makes it look easy, which it isn't. Don't believe me? Check it out yourself: Creating a Comic.

In her joke instructions, Jan McInnis provides more details to mastering a joke with an emphasis on brevity being the soul of wit (thank you, Mr. Shakespeare). Like ditching unnecessary prepositional phrases. (Who knew grammar could be such a killjoy?)

Now that I know how to write a joke, it's time to get started ...