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How to Write Funny

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Writing humor is subjective and challenging - thankfully, there are many ways to create it. "How to Write Funny" provides advice, insights and humor from more than twenty writers with a gift for making readers laugh.

In a diverse collection of articles and interviews, both classic and new, this esteemed group of writers, including Dave Barry, Bill Bryson and Jennifer
Paperback, 232 pages
Published July 15th 2001 by Writer's Digest Books (first published July 1st 2001)
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Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
The interviews with Alexie, Bryson, and Barry at the end of the book are good, but a lot of the essays at the beginning were repetitive, and simplistic. Don't read the whole thing.
Lara Lee
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-blog-books
How to Write Funny is a Writer's Digest book that is a collection of essays and interviews like many of their other how-to books. The essays each cover various aspects of humorous writing, but the last third of the book starts sounding repetitive. In general, I liked the book and learned a lot, but I do have a few complaints.

The beginning essays were probably the most interesting and beneficial. They covered various tools for writing humor like exaggeration, understatement, irony, repetition,
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Each chapter of this book is written by a different person. This setup meant there was a lot of repetition and the style of writing varied which I didnt like for a how to book. ...more
Andrea Huelsenbeck
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of my goals for 2016 was to put humor into my writing. (Still working on that.) I asked my critique group if anyone knew a book on writing humor, and my friend Betty offered to lend me her copy of How to Write Funny, edited by John B. Kachuba.
Sticky notes and tabs stuck out of Bettys book, passages on many pages were either underlined or highlighted, and the margins held scribbled notes. I began reading with a notebook and pen close by. After Id read two pages, I already had a page of notes.
Nayad Monroe
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
This collection of essays and interviews on the subject of writing humor covers a lot of suggestions for how to be funny, and also a fair amount of doubt that it's possible to teach people how to be funny, so there are mixed messages to be found here. The suggestions seem like useful things to try, and it's interesting to see the different perspectives on what humor is and how to approach it. Connie Willis and Esther Friesner bring in specifics about humor in science fiction and fantasy. Reading ...more
John G.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humorology
I'm a stand-up comedian, and I found this book to be incredibly helpful and insightful, not so much in the sense of instructing me how to write a joke or perform on stage, but about understanding what humor is and why people laugh. This book is great for helping you figure out where to look for the funny, incredibly literate and insightful analysis into humor and comedy This book is geared more towards humorists than it is comics, but I found it to be one of the most helpful examinations of ...more
Another in the Writer's Digest series; well put together, but humor is harder to teach than other aspects of writing, and often when someone dissects it to try to see how it works, the laughter dies on the operating table. Still, this book contains a lot of good advice from some of the funniest writers (I think, anyway) working today, e.g. Dave Barry, Sherman Alexie, Andrei Codrescu, and a long list of others.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Parts of this book were entertaining, and worth the price for the amount of information that I received. However, much of this book simply did not have value for me (fiction writer recommendations don't help for non-fiction writers). The best value of this book for me was the result that I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to achieve with my writing. This book became a platform for my thinking, and that experience was valuable.
May 13, 2010 rated it liked it
look out world, here I come!

This collection of essays proves that it really is not funny to talk about funny. A few good commonplaces to take away, good analysis and deconstruction for practice putting storyline and anecdotes back together. The best essay in the bunch was by Jennifer Crusie about the differences between male and female humor.

Now, for my next trick...
Kay Hudson
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: craft-of-writing
Interesting collection of articles and interviews dealing with all sorts of humorous writing: fiction, non-fiction, essays and articles, even poetry. More about humor than craft. General view is that humor comes more from the author's (and character's) worldview than from technique.
Raditya Dika
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
this collection of essays on comedy writing is not an intended step-by-step workshop kind of book. it's more deeper, designed to answers the ultimate question in life: what makes me laugh?
Lauri Meyers
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-books
John offers excellent tips, lists, and exercises to improve your humor game!
Bill Lalonde
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Something of a mixed bag. Interesting bits, but nothing spectacular.
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John B. Kachuba is the series editor of America's Haunted Road Trip from Clerisy Press and the author of Ghosthunting Illinois and Ghosthunting Ohio. He has also written other books such as Ghosthunters: On the Trail of Mediums, Dowsers, Spirit Seekers, and Other Investigators of America's Paranormal World, How to Write Funny, and Why is this Job Killing Me? (co-authored with his wife, Mary A. ...more

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