ABC - Always Be Cutting
Shakespeare said "Brevity is the soul of wit."
Brevity is the soul of wit. This quote by Shakespeare has been reiterated throughout history. It provides a timeless lesson on how to be concise in your writing. Brevity allows us to write more clearly and succinctly, which is necessary when we are trying to write jokes or comedy scripts. Brevity also helps creative writers with creating artful work that will live on for generations to come.
He knew a thing or two about comedy, given that back in 1602 he was pretty much the Richard Pryor of the powdered wig crowd.
The more you understand about what makes people laugh, the better your jokes will be. A good comedian knows how to tell a good story and how to make their audience laugh within the first few lines. Comedians think about what they want their audience to feel and they create an experience for them.
Most jokes should be as short and to the point as is needed to get the job done. When writing keep this in mind.
The world of comedy is an interesting one, namely because of the various ways that comedians and comedic writers go about it. There’s no one way to do it, and there’s a massive amount of creative freedom on offer. This has led to some different schools of thought about the field—for instance, some people believe that jokes should be written as such: A-B-C-D. Others believe that there should be more creativity involved with the idea that jokes can be made up as they go along. That said, whatever your approach to joke writing make sure to cut words when you can.
Usually, as you initially write a joke, you'll use more words than necessary just to try and get a feel for it.
The first thing to do when writing a joke is to see if you're over-explaining it. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but usually it's because you don't really know what the joke is about or the punchline could be found in any other part of the story. The next step is to cut down on words and try to come up with a solid idea for the punchline. If it doesn't work, then edit and cut more until you find something that works well.
As a practice you should always be reviewing your jokes to see if they can be shortened.
The best way to improve your joke is to review your jokes and see if you can shorten them. This will help you in the long run by being able to have better comedic timing, for example.
These are some of the things you will want to think about when reviewing your jokes:
-If the joke is too long, what do I need to cut?
-How can I make it clearer?
-What's the funniest part of this joke?
-Is there any part that might offend anyone?
Make it part of your re-writing process.
If you want to have a good joke, there is a process that you need to follow. First, pick a subject. Next, find a punchline. Finally, cut the words until you have the perfect comedy set-up verse punchline. Here are some tips on how to do it:
1) Pick a subject
2) Find the best punch line
3) Cut words from your sentence until they fit together perfectly
4) It helps if you have some knowledge of the topic
5) Be as specific as possible
6) Be as dramatic as possible
7) Add an unexpected detail that will make people laugh
Try taking a joke that's not working and cut the amount of words in it by half. You'll be amazed how many words are getting in the way of the funny.
Taking a joke that's not working and cutting the amount of words in it by half can really do wonders. You'll be amazed how many words are getting into it. Many people are quick to cut jokes at the first sign of trouble. However, if you examine your joke closely, you might find that some minor edits will easily save the day.
Comics like Jerry Seinfeld sometimes spend years perfecting the wording of their jokes.
Jerry Seinfeld says that he spent many years perfecting the wording of his jokes. He would spend hours on end cutting words out of phrases until he found the perfect way to convey his point in a joke.
Follow his lead and give the development of your material the effort it deserves.
I find that one of the most important things to be a good writer is not only understanding what your audience want and need, but also understanding the type of comedy they enjoy. The process of writing jokes is hard and you will need to put in a lot of effort. However, it will be worth it when you see the audience laughing at your work.
Are you a comedy creator? Apply to Comedy Trade School.
Learn comedy skills and strategies from a community of established comedy creators. Membership is by invitation only and is prioritized by member referral requests. Please note that our community is for people who are serious about comedy creation. Please do not request an invitation if you are a comedy fan who is merely curious about the inner workings of comedy creation. We get it. We really do. As much as we'd love to have you, our resources are limited. But, please please please continue to support your favorite comedy creators. There is no commercial solicitation allowed between members on the site. If you're here to try to sell something please contact our advertising coordinator.
Fill out the following form and you'll be sent an email when membership registration opens.
Comedy Trade School is a community for comedy creators.