Author: Matt Willard

  • Make Your Writing Funny – More Comedy Writing Books

    By Matt Willard on June 16, 2011
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    A while ago, I listed my favorite books about comedy writing, but usually it's a good idea to read as many books on a subject as you can. As such, here's a couple more I'd like to recommend. They aren't my personal favorites, but they're useful enough that they're worth a read. The Comedy Bible, by Judy Carter This one's […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – More on Relationships

    By Matt Willard on June 2, 2011
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    A long time ago when this column first began, I showed how you can use relationships to create comparisons with another idea. This is an easy way to get a laugh if you compare ideas that people are familiar with. Why, at one point, a "30 people who disliked this are Beiber fans" comment on a YouTube music video was […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – When Is It "Good Enough"?

    By Matt Willard on May 19, 2011
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    Now, I'll be honest with you, folks. I hate terrible writing. (You should see me debate the logistics of awful characterization in Japanese giant robot cartoons.) Naturally, I hate what I perceive as terrible comedy writing, and so I've always strided to create the best writing possible. This Became A Problem. I mean, this is perfectionism. It's always a problem. […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – The Rule of Three

    By Matt Willard on May 5, 2011
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    As I've mentioned before, you can't milk a joke for too long, or it gets stale pretty quickly. The rule of three is a good...well, rule of thumb for keeping that in mind. It hits a sweet spot that Goldilocks would die for - not too long, but not so short that it loses the effect. Rule of three jokes […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – Keeping A Notebook

    By Matt Willard on April 21, 2011
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    One of my favorite ways to stay sharp is to keep a notebook of various topics. Once you've developed the habit of keeping a notebook, you'll have an easier time coming up with topics to write about, and you'll even have a ready-made list of references for punchlines, which can really help speed up joke writing. A notebook can be […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – The 4 Principles Each Humor Writer Needs

    By Matt Willard on April 7, 2011
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    Writing good humor involves a bag of tricks not everyone has on standby. It’s not something to be ashamed about – some people just aren’t meant for writing humor, just like I’m not meant to ever go back to Alabama. But if you want to increase your chances of success – and have a fun time – I’d recommend following […]
  • The Single Best Way To Develop Humor Writing Skills

    By Matt Willard on March 24, 2011
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    Lately I’ve found that I’m one of those guys who only really learns his lesson once he’s made a buttload of big mistakes. On the one hand, big failures really suck and can get you down, but on the other, they’re a valuable tool in discovering what works best for you. But you’ve already heard this “failure is good” part […]
  • How To Create Jokes On The Can

    By Matt Willard on March 10, 2011
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    The following is a part of our Make Your Writing Funny series.  People who know me know that I talk to myself a lot. Hey, I was a lonely kid - no wonder I make an excellent conversational partner. Then again, I think one of my favorite cartoon characters summed it up best: "I simply have a penchant for INTELLIGENT […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – My Favorite Comedy Writing Books

    By Matt Willard on February 24, 2011
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    I used several great books to develop my comedy writing skills. I've been using this column to teach you bits and pieces from each of these, along with a mix of my own techniques, but if you want a more in-depth look, here's what I recommend: The Comedy Writing Workbook, by Gene Perret I absolutely adore this book, and if […]
  • Make Your Writing Funny – How To Steal Jokes From Others (Somewhat)

    By Matt Willard on February 10, 2011
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    In the world of fiction, copying passages from other stories and trying to publish them as your own is plagarism. In the world of comedy, it's just another way to write. Of course, I don't want you totally ripping off good one-liners verbatim. Instead, the best way to use other people's jokes is as a starting point for your own […]