How to Write Funny

ISBN: 1582970548
ISBN 13: 9781582970547
By: John B. Kachuba

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Currently Reading Essays Humor Library Private Non Fiction Nonfiction On Writing To Read Writing Writing Books

About this book

Writing humor is subjective and challenging - thankfully, there are many ways to create it. "How to Write Funny" provides advice, insights and humor from more than twenty writers with a gift for making readers laugh.In a diverse collection of articles and interviews, both classic and new, this esteemed group of writers, including Dave Barry, Bill Bryson and Jennifer Crusie, provides different viewpoints on how humor works on the page, whether in short stories, memoirs, novels or articles. You'll learn the principles and basic forms of comedy, when to break the rules of reason, the importance of being yourself, why you should stop trying to hard to be funny, and how to write for specific genres and audiences.You'll also sit in on a special roundtable discussion featuring P.J. O'Rourke, Mark Leyner, Maggie Estep and James Finn Garner, as well as a one-of-a-kind "how-to" workshop conducted by funny lady and best-selling author Jennifer Crusie.You've got a sense of humor. You've got the will to write. Combining the two, and getting it right, will bring a smile to your face and a chuckle to your readers.

Reader's Thoughts

Bill Lalonde

Something of a mixed bag. Interesting bits, but nothing spectacular.

Raditya Dika

this collection of essays on comedy writing is not an intended step-by-step workshop kind of book. it's more deeper, designed to answers the ultimate question in life: what makes me laugh?

Nayad Monroe

This collection of essays and interviews on the subject of writing humor covers a lot of suggestions for how to be funny, and also a fair amount of doubt that it's possible to teach people how to be funny, so there are mixed messages to be found here. The suggestions seem like useful things to try, and it's interesting to see the different perspectives on what humor is and how to approach it. Connie Willis and Esther Friesner bring in specifics about humor in science fiction and fantasy. Reading this book might not immediately transform your writing into the hilarity of the ages, but if you already have a sense of humor, it should enhance your understanding of the way it works. Don't let my dry analysis turn you away. ;)


This book is a fun series of essays. The writers all suggest exercises to improve writing or describe their own methods and influences. One writer who surprised me was Jennifer Cruise. I was dismissive of her novels because they have pink covers marketed toward Sex & the City People. She used Dorothy Parker as a model to explain how to construct a funny scene. She dissected it in an articulate manner. I always have liked Dorothy Parker but have never pulled it apart.


look out world, here I come!This collection of essays proves that it really is not funny to talk about funny. A few good commonplaces to take away, good analysis and deconstruction for practice putting storyline and anecdotes back together. The best essay in the bunch was by Jennifer Crusie about the differences between male and female humor. Now, for my next trick...


Another in the Writer's Digest series; well put together, but humor is harder to teach than other aspects of writing, and often when someone dissects it to try to see how it works, the laughter dies on the operating table. Still, this book contains a lot of good advice from some of the funniest writers (I think, anyway) working today, e.g. Dave Barry, Sherman Alexie, Andrei Codrescu, and a long list of others.


The interviews with Alexie, Bryson, and Barry at the end of the book are good, but a lot of the essays at the beginning were repetitive, and simplistic. Don't read the whole thing.

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