How do you write comedy?

Phantomheart

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If you haven't read any of my books yet, I am mostly known on SH for psychological and rather dark stories, and while they have comedic undertones, which can be comical, such as character traits or dialogue, I don't really know how to write inherently comedic scenes. I always have this dry humor added into my writing, so I wanted to see how others incorporate comedy into their writing.

Also, how do you guys get inspired to write funny scenes? I feel like I have to binge on The Office (which is always a good thing, of course) to try and understand subtle comedy, and how to make it not feel forced, even though there are of course some forced scenes in the show.

What are some inspirations for humor that you guys have found helpful to learn from? Whether these are from books, movies, novels, and or even anime, please do tell! The most comedic scenes I can write are dark humor and fluff humor.
 

Scribbler

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Comedy doesn't work the same way with the written word as it does with more physical media, I mean, stuff like comics/manga, anime/shows, and movies.

You can write physical comedy, but watching it happen would be much, much more effective. When I write comedy it's situational. Try to incorporate characters' different viewpoints and irony.
 

Kotohood

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To write comedy you must understand the different type of comedy. A few are listed below. There are many more that you could search up on, but I'll just list a few that I like using.

Slapstick -Comedy based on deliberately clumsy actions and humorously embarrassing events. Example, walking down the stairs then tripping over a toy.

Irony- Something that happens contrary to what you expected to happen. IE, a fire station burning down.

Sarcasm-If you can master irony then sarcasm is basically mocking people in an ironic tone. Those firemen are sure good at doing their jobs huh?

Obvious humour- making a jab at something obvious. Exaple: I think fire is weak to water.

Dark humor- Making light of something that is considered dark or taboo.

Insult comedy- comedy when people insult each other. Can also apply when two characters just talk smack to each other.

Cringe comedy- you know this. People do something super cringe and you make fun of it. Like my feeble attempt at writing this post.

Observational comedy -Making fun of everyday life. Life fucks me everyday.

Puns- People like puns. I know you do. They are punstastic.

Take note on what kind of punchline you wish to deliver and make a spin based on the comedy type you are going for.

Note that there are always different things that makes people laugh and people have different taste in comedy. So it's not always clear cut on what you should be doing. Best to know what kind of comedy you want.

In terms of inspiration, I just usually watch comedic genres of the type of comedy that I like.
 

gaylolis

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I just make the usual things absurd and nonsensical.

like this for example:

the usage of period in a sentence.

andy is eating lunch.

andy is eating period.
 

Ninetailed_Furball

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You'd be amazed how much things work from other media in writing.

I've spent a ton of time going through movie and game analysis videos and writings, and it's amazing how much of it applies to writing if you just turn it on it's head a little. Every Frame A Painting's Jackie Chan video comes to mind.

Not all videos of that sort work for writing overall, but there's always good little nuggets you can use.

But if you want a general guideline to start off from, comedy is basically the art of subverting expectations. Generally by doing something absurd.

For example, imagine a man walking down the street reading something on SH on his phone. Ahead, there's an open manhole. The man continues walking down the street, oblivious to the danger ahead. Left foot after the right, he slowly approaches the open fall. One, two, three, four, the fifth step doesn't connect and gravity overtakes him, sending the man through the open manhole faster than he can react.

*Boing!*

With a strange noise, the man flies out of the manhole, lands, then continues, looking up a little as he wonders which cloud hid the sunlight above for only a split second.

(Kay, I admit this one was kinda stolen from somewhere, but I can't remember where)
 

Scribbler

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You'd be amazed how much things work from other media in writing.

I've spent a ton of time going through movie and game analysis videos and writings, and it's amazing how much of it applies to writing if you just turn it on it's head a little. Every Frame A Painting's Jackie Chan video comes to mind.

Not all videos of that sort work for writing overall, but there's always good little nuggets you can use.

But if you want a general guideline to start off from, comedy is basically the art of subverting expectations. Generally by doing something absurd.

For example, imagine a man walking down the street reading something on SH on his phone. Ahead, there's an open manhole. The man continues walking down the street, oblivious to the danger ahead. Left foot after the right, he slowly approaches the open fall. One, two, three, four, the fifth step doesn't connect and gravity overtakes him, sending the man through the open manhole faster than he can react.

*Boing!*

With a strange noise, the man flies out of the manhole, lands, then continues, looking up a little as he wonders which cloud hid the sunlight above for only a split second.

(Kay, I admit this one was kinda stolen from somewhere, but I can't remember where)
I imagined the scenario with the man simply walking over the opening as if it were ground.
 

Viator

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My process is rather simple. I ask myself, "does the scene amuse me?" "Would the scene amuse someone I know who is different?" Remember comedy is subjective, what isn't said can be as, or more important than what is said. This is true in all aspects of writing. Allow the reader's own imagination to work without getting bogged down by too much superfluous detail, or over playing the humor. Most importantly write a little playfully, and just have fun with it. You may not keep everything you write after editing, but your attitude as you write can reflect in your written voice. Try too hard and the reader's may feel it.

I'm not a comedic writer, so I don't know how helpful my advice will be; these are just some of the things I consider.
 

steve2116

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If I burst out laughing and shake my head while I'm writing it I count it as humour. I'm not going to try to create humour because then it becomes a chore and I might attract people who don't like the same type of humour as me.

If you can chuckle at what you wrote, chance is that someone else will. So try not force it. If it helps just write a paragraph of random text that you find a bit funny and find a way to introduce it in ironic ways.
eg:
"I like pears"
As Will was walking through the woods, deeply scared by all the horific artwork of trees surrounding him, he heard a wild mumble resonate throughout the place. As dark and scary as it was, fully taking advantage of the misty and humid atmosphere, it reminded him of something he had seen in the past. "I like pears" he said, wondering whether the obsurdity of it might confuse the ghosts and ghouls around him and give him a chance at escape but alas, he only heard "me too" spookly whispered back.
 

gaylolis

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If I burst out laughing and shake my head while I'm writing it I count it as humour. I'm not going to try to create humour because then it becomes a chore and I might attract people who don't like the same type of humour as me.

If you can chuckle at what you wrote, chance is that someone else will. So try not force it. If it helps just write a paragraph of random text that you find a bit funny and find a way to introduce it in ironic ways.
eg:
"I like pears"
As Will was walking through the woods, deeply scared by all the horific artwork of trees surrounding him, he heard a wild mumble resonate throughout the place. As dark and scary as it was, fully taking advantage of the misty and humid atmosphere, it reminded him of something he had seen in the past. "I like pears" he said, wondering whether the obsurdity of it might confuse the ghosts and ghouls around him and give him a chance at escape but alas, he only heard "me too" spookly whispered back.
the real question

is it the lol wut pear
 

steve2116

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the real question

is it the lol wut pear
This is the first time I have seen that meme, thank you for enlightening me xd
And I was just thinking of normal, everyday pears. I'm weird in that I can find humour in everything.
 

sage61

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eg:
"I like pears"
As Will was walking through the woods, deeply scared by all the horific artwork of trees surrounding him, he heard a wild mumble resonate throughout the place. As dark and scary as it was, fully taking advantage of the misty and humid atmosphere, it reminded him of something he had seen in the past. "I like pears" he said, wondering whether the obsurdity of it might confuse the ghosts and ghouls around him and give him a chance at escape but alas, he only heard "me too" spookly whispered back.
I don't know why, but I end up chuckling to myself when I read this. It's amazing how you can influence me from afar
 
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