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189 very clever ideas that will enable you to write unique, compelling and successful comedy stories, jokes, sitcoms, sketches, and stand-up routines faster and easier than ever before.

68 pages, ebook (PDF), £6.99

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This book includes:

  • The different types of humour and when to use them
  • How to tell if you're funny
  • Some easy ways to fix things that aren't getting laughs
  • What makes a funny character? (lots of examples)
  • How to see things in a funny way
  • How to keep the laughs coming
  • The funniest situations
  • How to turn tragedy into comedy
  • How to write jokes that are definitely funny
  • How to perform comedy successfully
  • Working with comedy clubs
  • How to write for other people
  • How to write for comedians who "don't use writers"
  • How to sell work that has been rejected
  • All about writing sitcoms
  • Writing for sketch shows
  • Spoofs and parodies
  • Plus 19 great storylines you can use or adapt as you wish
  • And much more - far too many great ideas to list here!

Sample idea: Black comedy

If you'd like to write black comedy, try starting with the black part first. Make a long list of depressing or horrific events or circumstances: someone has died in an accident, a diner has had a heart attack in a restaurant, a soldier's best friend has just died next to him in a trench, and so on. You'll find plenty of examples just by watching the news or reading newspapers. These are shocking situations where jokes should never (normally) be made. Listing them won't be pleasant but it needs to be done.

The next step is to come up with a joke for each item. In black comedy these are often the things people say under these circumstances - especially stereotypical British people who never grumble or complain despite the dreadful things that happen to them. So the wife of the man who's had the heart attack in the restaurant might say to her companions: 'At least we won't have to pay the bill.' Or 'It would be a shame to let this spoil the meal, let's ask for doggy bags.' See what else you can come up with.

[TIP] As in the example above, a good way of getting started is to use 'At least ...'

Another way of writing black comedy is to start with three lists.

In the first you list serious circumstances: deaths, accidents, funerals, life-or-death surgery, murder trials, wars, and so on.

In the second you list people who might behave unpredictably or inappropriately: foreign tourists who stumble in to ask for directions, drunks, the village idiot, young children, animals, the elderly and confused, an uncle who thinks he's a comedian (but nobody else does), and so on.

In the third you list objects and events - catalysts - and things that if they can go wrong will go wrong: someone might shout out something inappropriate at just the wrong moment, the coffin might have to carried under a ladder and end up covered in paint, one of the pallbearers might not see the open manhole, a golf ball might come flying through the window and hit someone on the head, the curtains might catch fire, the dog (whose water bowl has been spiked with something) might see a cat in the garden and dive through the window - which happens to be closed and two flights up.

Taking one item at random from each list should lead to all sorts of comedy ideas - and if you choose them carefully rather than at random they'll probably be even better.

[EXTENSION] Try taking two of the best ideas and combine them in a single scene.

Alternative product:

You might prefer the complete Volume 3 (Genre Fiction)

Includes: Comedy, Crime, Fantasy, Historical, Horror,
Mystery and Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction, Thrillers

1,228 very clever ideas, 564 pages, £27.99

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