Make Your Writing Funny: 4 Tricks To Successfully Write Funny Anecdotes

on November 11, 2010 in Writing & Editing

This week, the A-List Blogging Bootcamp began their six-week camp on writing like an A-List Blogger. The first week is free, and it details how to use personal stories to enhance your blog and make your posts more interesting.

But sometimes retelling personal stories can be tricky. Have you ever been involved in a scenario that was so hilarious that you had to tell everyone? And then when you retold it, nobody laughed? And your story ended "you had to have been there"? I know I have.

Because an anecdote is so personal, the funny part you experienced is lost in translation when the story's retold. That's why you need to take care when you reuse a funny story. Here are four quick tips to use when using funny anecdotes in a post or article:

1. Return to setup and punchline. Now, thinking in terms of setup and punchline doesn't mean you have to add more witty remarks. Think of it in terms of paragraphs - here's your basic point, here's what happened directly as a result. Keep it scannable.

2. Only include the essential information. Especially if you're adding extra remarks. Laying out the information the reader needs to understand will help enforce the funny conclusion.

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3. Keep up a fast pace. Hit point after point in quick succession, especially if you're writing for the internet. Moreso if you do decide to add jokes.

4. Use an active voice. Don't just describe events. Have the people in your story talk. Express your own thoughts at the time. Write it like its own little story so the reader can play it out in their mind.

With some fine-tuning, any anecdote can be retold and stay just as hilarious as when you originally experienced it. You readers won't "have to have been there" - they can live it for themselves.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Take something unexpected and funny that's happened to you and break it down into a written format. Keep it moving. Add jokes if you wish, but strive to capture the original feel of the story.

Thanks for sharing!
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Matt Willard

Matt Willard's bio begins with witty phrasing that succinctly illustrates his stance as a humorist. It is then followed with a clever sentence that illustrates what he does in his spare time. The bio concludes with a shameless link to his Twitter profile, paired with an off-hand comment that alludes to his success with women. Laughter.


  1. Carol Tice November 12, 2010 Reply

    Hey Matt! See I’m not the only one blogging about my A-List experiences. I’m not doing the bootcamp (ssh!) because the writing side is where I think I know what I’m doing…I’m in the Club for all the tech blog-monetizing tips and how to build courses that sell, launch products…all that kind of stuff. Learning a TON.

    • Matt Willard November 12, 2010 Reply

      I could improve my writing a little bit, but my own main goal is to make connections and promote my site more. Good luck on your end!

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