Monday, October 25, 2010

Writer's Weights: Humor Challenge (WW8)

Want to exercise your writing chops? This week's writer's weights exercise focuses on the writing ensemble. Answers to the challenge will be posted on Friday. If you use this exercise, post a link in the comments, and I'll update the post with your link. Everyone is welcome to participate.

With Halloween approaching, I thought that it might be fun to have a break from the horde of gibbering creatures. Instead of HP Lovecraft, this week is inspired by Larry, Curly, and Moe. Attempt to write a scene that includes humor. This can be a leavening of a more serious writing or a slapstick.

A couple of techniques to consider:
  • Brainstorm lots of ideas, the first one you think of may not be the funniest and coming up with several variants may result in a funnier idea.
  • Experiment with placing the punchline (and even the punch of the single sentence) in different places. Many comedians will attempt to place this at the end of the paragraph or sentence, but not always placing the punch in the same place may make that humor sparkle.
  • Make the reader think a little bit to get the humor. This can be difficult to hit that sweet zone where the humor isn't told to them but enough information lies there for them to put the pieces together and that results in potentially someone thinking it is funny.

The challenge: write a scene of 1000 words or less that uses one of the above techniques to create humor or one of your own favorite techniques. Theme for this week: skeleton.

Further reading:

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