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The Serious Guide to Joke Writing: How to Say Something Funny about Anything

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How To Write Jokes for Fun & Profit This comprehensive joke writing masterclass has been devised for beginners and experienced joke writers alike. The techniques you will learn can be used again and again to write funny and original material for: Stand-up comedy; Speeches; Political satire; Monologues; TV, Stage & radio; Witty articles & blogs; Comedy sketches; Sitcom scri How To Write Jokes for Fun & Profit This comprehensive joke writing masterclass has been devised for beginners and experienced joke writers alike. The techniques you will learn can be used again and again to write funny and original material for: Stand-up comedy; Speeches; Political satire; Monologues; TV, Stage & radio; Witty articles & blogs; Comedy sketches; Sitcom scripts; Cartoons & Comic-Strips; Business Presentations. You hold in your hands the key to unlocking your inner comedy genius. When you read this book you will discover... * Simple yet powerful ways to write hilarious material on any subject * Insider tricks professionals use to get going and keep going * Where jokes really come from and why this makes writing easier * Techniques for creating simple puns and wordplay for laughs * How to tap into a continuous stream of comedy consciousness * Creative tools such as Joke-Webbing and the Hadron Joke Collider * How to mine newspapers and headlines for topical comedy gold * Ways to take jokes in weird and wonderful directions with surrealism * How to hone your jokes to maximise laughs and minimise memorisation If you want to write comedy of any kind this book is for you...


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How To Write Jokes for Fun & Profit This comprehensive joke writing masterclass has been devised for beginners and experienced joke writers alike. The techniques you will learn can be used again and again to write funny and original material for: Stand-up comedy; Speeches; Political satire; Monologues; TV, Stage & radio; Witty articles & blogs; Comedy sketches; Sitcom scri How To Write Jokes for Fun & Profit This comprehensive joke writing masterclass has been devised for beginners and experienced joke writers alike. The techniques you will learn can be used again and again to write funny and original material for: Stand-up comedy; Speeches; Political satire; Monologues; TV, Stage & radio; Witty articles & blogs; Comedy sketches; Sitcom scripts; Cartoons & Comic-Strips; Business Presentations. You hold in your hands the key to unlocking your inner comedy genius. When you read this book you will discover... * Simple yet powerful ways to write hilarious material on any subject * Insider tricks professionals use to get going and keep going * Where jokes really come from and why this makes writing easier * Techniques for creating simple puns and wordplay for laughs * How to tap into a continuous stream of comedy consciousness * Creative tools such as Joke-Webbing and the Hadron Joke Collider * How to mine newspapers and headlines for topical comedy gold * Ways to take jokes in weird and wonderful directions with surrealism * How to hone your jokes to maximise laughs and minimise memorisation If you want to write comedy of any kind this book is for you...

30 review for The Serious Guide to Joke Writing: How to Say Something Funny about Anything

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Anyone who thinks that they are going to get the answer to how to become a great stand up/writer in an instruction manual is a fool. This book doesn't have the golden secret about how to be a comic, no book does. What it is very good for though is providing various writing exercises and disciplines to help get your creative juices flowing when the alternative is to just stare at the blank screen/page. I have used a number of the exercises in here a number of times. Even when it doesn't lead to m Anyone who thinks that they are going to get the answer to how to become a great stand up/writer in an instruction manual is a fool. This book doesn't have the golden secret about how to be a comic, no book does. What it is very good for though is providing various writing exercises and disciplines to help get your creative juices flowing when the alternative is to just stare at the blank screen/page. I have used a number of the exercises in here a number of times. Even when it doesn't lead to much in itself, the process of writing ANYTHING gets the mind working and it can be amazing what comes to you later on. A criticism of the book I have heard before is that the process presented can be quite sterile, producing solid comedy writing, certainly, but not having anything of the person in it. The book is intended mostly from the position of those writing to order for papers, TV, radio, etc, and in that end it is very good. Wannabe stand-ups shouldn't ever think the writing exercises presented here are the beginning and end of the process, otherwise they will just churn out soulless observations repeated a hundred times over by other comics. If however you see this as a supplement to your existing writing methods, you could be on to a winner.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kate Fox

    I write topical comedy myself (as a poet- it does count-honest) and recognised many of the methods Holloway uses here. She explains them so well- and has structured and refined them- that I found her methods really helped me out of a fallow period. I also like how she uses real life examples from classes she's taught (and is obviously a natural and passionate teacher). Highly recommend as a guide to anyone interested in joke writing or in how jokes work. I write topical comedy myself (as a poet- it does count-honest) and recognised many of the methods Holloway uses here. She explains them so well- and has structured and refined them- that I found her methods really helped me out of a fallow period. I also like how she uses real life examples from classes she's taught (and is obviously a natural and passionate teacher). Highly recommend as a guide to anyone interested in joke writing or in how jokes work.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    I'm not sure anyone serious about entering the world of stand-up (or other comedy writing) would necessarily be reading this book. But then that isn't the only audience that may find it interesting. Even as an 'fascinated audience member' it can be fun to think a bit further about what kind of processes a comic *may* have used to get to the joke you've just seen on stage. Holloway presents a series of practical methods and exercises that may assist you in the writing process. Starting with Puns a I'm not sure anyone serious about entering the world of stand-up (or other comedy writing) would necessarily be reading this book. But then that isn't the only audience that may find it interesting. Even as an 'fascinated audience member' it can be fun to think a bit further about what kind of processes a comic *may* have used to get to the joke you've just seen on stage. Holloway presents a series of practical methods and exercises that may assist you in the writing process. Starting with Puns and wordplay (including exercises going through newspaper stories selecting interesting words and working with them) through allowing your brain some time-off for 'background processing' and then creating 'joke webs' (mind maps and word association based on a topic). The 'colliding' of these webs is probably the final practical exercise that doesn't necessarily rely on a particular 'talent' - whereby the creator of joke maps attempts to join two ostensibly unrelated maps to find common ground to riff on. It is after these chapters that it really becomes clear that even with a series of step by step actions to take there still needs to be an element of experience, talent, magic (whatever you'd like to call it) in the mix. Surrealist inquisition (looking at the problem from a diverse variety of positions) and 'Honing' (to a much stronger extent) rely upon the joke author creating a rhythm, timing, framing and elaboration/extension of the joke to make it something that would stand up for use with a general audience. Of course the performer would also require a charm and stage presence. Tim Vine, for example, relies heavily on puns.. but the reason they work is his delivery and mixing them up with surrealist songs and skits not what could be described as rather basic puns. Holloway ends with a case study of her own whereby she, in diary style, describes her involvement in writing a routine for a corporate gig. Interesting and worth a read perhaps more so as a means of directing creativity in any form not just joke writing. Will you be the next Jimmy Carr or Sarah Millican? probably not but you'll be armed with a few techniques to get you on your way.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I come back to the techniques in this book again and again. The thing about writing jokes is that you can't just sit around waiting for a great joke to jump into your mind. Writers who depend on comedy in their writing need to have a set of tools by which we can produce jokes "to order" about any topic. This book is structured around a workshop which Sally Holloway gives to stand up comics to hone their joke writing skills. It provides a great, usable toolkit for joke production. The only warning I come back to the techniques in this book again and again. The thing about writing jokes is that you can't just sit around waiting for a great joke to jump into your mind. Writers who depend on comedy in their writing need to have a set of tools by which we can produce jokes "to order" about any topic. This book is structured around a workshop which Sally Holloway gives to stand up comics to hone their joke writing skills. It provides a great, usable toolkit for joke production. The only warning I have about this book is that after reading it, I became obsessive about finding jokes in everything! This went on for several months, until my girlfriend told me to cut it out. Every newspaper article, radio bulletin or random comment by a friend became a potential mine of joke possibilities.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rich B

    An easy to read and follow guide on how to start or get better at including humour in your writing. Written in an informal chatty style, it never gets too serious (despite the title). There’s plenty of examples and exercises you can use. Some of the joke examples are obviously based on cultural references from when it was written back in 2010, and it’s very UK centric. Some jokes might not make sense if you don’t know UK culture. But, the explanations of the difference exercises and approaches a An easy to read and follow guide on how to start or get better at including humour in your writing. Written in an informal chatty style, it never gets too serious (despite the title). There’s plenty of examples and exercises you can use. Some of the joke examples are obviously based on cultural references from when it was written back in 2010, and it’s very UK centric. Some jokes might not make sense if you don’t know UK culture. But, the explanations of the difference exercises and approaches are clearly written, the tools she suggests are genuinely helpful. It’s a good read to find out more about joke writing if you’re interested in this topic. There’s a lot of enjoyment you can get out of clever word play and colliding ideas together to make them funny. I liked that she also stressed that it’s a skill you have to work at to get better at, and there was a good range of examples, not all of which made me laugh, but enough of them did to make it a fun read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John G.

    I enjoyed the enthusiasm and energy of the author, joke writing and joke telling are near and dear to my heart and this is a good addition to one’s comedy toolbox. She presented several different methods of writing jokes, but there are others. I have a totally different method of writing jokes and a different tone of humor though. I gained some valuable insights into the origins of jokes and the creative process. Hmm, maybe I should do my own workshops and joke book?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joe Jaffa

    As a comedian, I read a lot of books on writing comedy. This is by far the best one. So many different strategies for how to write and exercises. The fact that Sally Holloway writes it through a course she taught is striking at first, but works tremendously. Makes it feel like you're really there! I'm Serious. (pause for laughs.) No, but honestly, I'll definitely be returning to this book whenever I feel stuck. As a comedian, I read a lot of books on writing comedy. This is by far the best one. So many different strategies for how to write and exercises. The fact that Sally Holloway writes it through a course she taught is striking at first, but works tremendously. Makes it feel like you're really there! I'm Serious. (pause for laughs.) No, but honestly, I'll definitely be returning to this book whenever I feel stuck.

  8. 4 out of 5

    miss charlotte j smith

    Practical useful advice about joke writing Enjoyable, humour and liked that it’s broken down into sections with clear examples. Easy to refer back to. Helps you to believe that if you put the work in you will see the results!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tasnim Rifat

    ফার্স্ট দুইটা চ্যাপ্টার ভালো। বাকিগুলা এতো কাজের লাগে নাই।

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Jack

    Good notes and wider applications to the general creative process

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frederic Kerr

    The author, a former standup, teaches classes on joke writing and makes her living as a joke writer for hire. She offers several exercises aimed at generating jokes on various topics. She doesn't spend a lot of time on generating the topics themselves, which is covered in other books. Other authors advise listing things you dread, hate or are embarrassed by and making those your starting topics. I have yet to write a real joke, as such, but these exercises give me more tools to use in the quest The author, a former standup, teaches classes on joke writing and makes her living as a joke writer for hire. She offers several exercises aimed at generating jokes on various topics. She doesn't spend a lot of time on generating the topics themselves, which is covered in other books. Other authors advise listing things you dread, hate or are embarrassed by and making those your starting topics. I have yet to write a real joke, as such, but these exercises give me more tools to use in the quest for being funnier. It's a framework, which is what I wanted. Her examples were less funny than in some other comedy writing technique books I have read. Funnier examples would have enhanced her credibility and my reading enjoyment, which would have led me to rate the book.more favorably.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Evie Basically

    Very useful I'm just a fiction writer but I was curious about this title and found the techniques within very interesting. As i read through, i filled up several pages of my notebook with ideas, and i can't wait to coax more ideas out using these methods. Very useful I'm just a fiction writer but I was curious about this title and found the techniques within very interesting. As i read through, i filled up several pages of my notebook with ideas, and i can't wait to coax more ideas out using these methods.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I've always had a hard time seeing myself as funny rather than amusing. A TV writing and improve class later, I'm angry for short-changing myself. I'm absolutely novice at joke writing, though, so I bought this book to sort of figure it out. The advice and exercises she offers here are quite excellent. The examples are also extremely helpful if you don't fully understand. Some of the references she makes may not translate because they pertain to Britain, but Google will help with that. I highly r I've always had a hard time seeing myself as funny rather than amusing. A TV writing and improve class later, I'm angry for short-changing myself. I'm absolutely novice at joke writing, though, so I bought this book to sort of figure it out. The advice and exercises she offers here are quite excellent. The examples are also extremely helpful if you don't fully understand. Some of the references she makes may not translate because they pertain to Britain, but Google will help with that. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get started in joke writing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark Speed

    Sally is a professional comedian, who made it to the top - both nationally and internationally. I know from female friends on the circuit that it's quite a bit harder for women. A friend of mine has been on one of her joke-writing courses and learnt heaps. Sally's done a great job of distilling her decades of experience into a book that's well-written, accessible for people at all levels, and is easy to use as a quick-start reference for when you're in need of help. Sally is a professional comedian, who made it to the top - both nationally and internationally. I know from female friends on the circuit that it's quite a bit harder for women. A friend of mine has been on one of her joke-writing courses and learnt heaps. Sally's done a great job of distilling her decades of experience into a book that's well-written, accessible for people at all levels, and is easy to use as a quick-start reference for when you're in need of help.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    Great practical guide to writing various forms of comedy. I really like the way the book is divided between theory and practical exercises. It's given me yet another method to come up with various ideas for a variety of scripts I've been involved in. I've had this on my "reading" list for awhile, because it's not the type of book you just read through. You read it, then you refer back to it often. Great practical guide to writing various forms of comedy. I really like the way the book is divided between theory and practical exercises. It's given me yet another method to come up with various ideas for a variety of scripts I've been involved in. I've had this on my "reading" list for awhile, because it's not the type of book you just read through. You read it, then you refer back to it often.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Trujillo

    This book was great. I am reading it a second time. I loved the techniques the author described to write jokes. So creative and fresh.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Henrik Von essen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dimo Calovski

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paulina Sáez

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chaos

  21. 4 out of 5

    Johan Abildskov

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cliff Yates

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Cattell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mo Salha

  25. 4 out of 5

    Saad

  26. 5 out of 5

    Greg Belote

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nels

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sam Cocum

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Sisson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nick Hilton

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