Monday, May 7, 2012

Stand Up Comedy for Writers

For creative writing exercise I thought I would try a little stand up comedy.  Then I remembered I am a really terrible joke teller, generally forgetting how the joke starts or ends or both.  I guess the only way to get my funny bone in shape is to work it out. 

In sticking with the writerly blog theme, here are 10 jokes only a writer could love (or hate or both).  If you think these are bad, consider yourself lucky the other 20 got scrapped.  (#11- "Hey folks, I just flew in and boy are my tweeters tired!")

1.     Did you hear about the blue jay with the contract to write about nest building?  He was so busy tweeting, he forgot to write the book.
2.     How many tweets would a tweeter tweep tweet, if a twittertweep could tweet asleep?
3.  My literary agent asked me to add more nudity, but I told her I write romance novels - not teen lit.
4. Did you hear the one about the guy who walked into the bar with two tan horses?  Me neither, it didn't make it out of the slush pile.
5.     I submitted my 80,000 word manuscript to a literary agent.  She told me her two favorite words in the book were "THE END."
6.     My novel was so boring, even my protagonist fell asleep.
7.     There's more flotsam in my manuscript than around the wreck of the Titanic. (Ooh, too soon?)
8.     I titled my manuscript "The Guy Who Got 100 Rejection Letters," but marketing renamed it "Chump."
9.     I got so many rejection letters, my muse jumped off a skyscraper.
10.  I always appreciate an editor taking the time to write a real rejection letter.  Just Tuesday I received one that read: "Your story is not a good fit for us.  I highly doubt it is a good fit for any publisher.  It showed poor judgment to admit you wrote this manuscript.  My retinas may be permanently scarred.  I recommend burning the ms post haste so no one else is forced to endure it.  If you are out of matches, just send it to Guantanamo for use as a device of torture.  Best of luck!"

<crickets chirping>   There isn't a blog equivalent of throwing tomatoes, is there?  Argh. I can't find my poncho.  

children's books, writing, jokesHere are the tips I found for writing comedy, which I apparently neglected to follow:
1.     End with the funny word (like salami or slush pile).
2.     Words with hard "K" and hard "C" are just funny.  ("turned out it was a pickle!")
3.     Be specific (i.e. say the banana instead of fruit).
4.     Comedy is 98% about the character and 98% about timing.
5.     Be willing to throw out your best joke if it doesn't fit.


Is your funny bone flabby too?  I challenge you to create your best writerly joke and share it below in the comments! 



18 comments:

  1. Too cute!

    Always loved getting mail. What better reason to be a writer? Now, I get letters by the bucket load. Got to love those editors; they sure know how to reach out a reject someone. At least my letter-carrier thinks I'm special.

    Yea, Lauri. I don't think SNL is going to come knocking on my door, either. But you are in my next MNINB complilation: YA themed. Should post tomorrow.

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    1. Yeah! I a can't wait for your post.
      Seriously, what does it take to get Lorne Michaels to call you back? :)

      Delete
  2. My favorite is #6, Lauri.

    What did the poet say at the end of her reading?

    Tanka for coming.

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    1. Love it!

      What does a poet say when she sneezes?

      Haiku

      Delete
  3. Gee, Lauri, I didn't know you were a comedian! I liked #4 and #6.

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    1. #6 seems to be the winner. Too bad it's true.

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  4. These were great. If and when I come up with one, I'll let you know, but for now, I've got nothing.

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  5. My favorite was #6! I can't tell a joke to save my life, so I won't even try! :)

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    1. Seriously, why is telling a joke so hard? I can never remember the facts and the names and the order...

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  6. ROFL ... #5 and #6 my favorites!! Too funny! :-)

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    1. #6 I was seriously reading a story draft the other day and could barely make it through... uh yeah - need to rewrite!

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  7. Lauri -
    You are definitely funny because you just throw it all out there. You have no fear, which is part of what makes a comedian! I thought #1 & #6. Were the funniest.

    As far as supplying my own jokes, I'll have to get back to you. Wait, I just thought of one...

    A blog captain: "Where is the missing blog soldier - and what is this new guy doing here?"
    New blog soldier: "He thought it would be a good idea to share his post."

    Monique

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    1. Thank you for putting it out there too Monique!

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  8. Ha! I get so busy tweeting I forget to write the book sometimes too. *grins*

    Love your blog here, Lauri --this was such a fun post. :)

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    1. I am just glad I finally have it down pat your site is Writerlious. There was a period where I kept searching for Writerlicious!

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  9. Ok funny girl, here's what I have for you :) This was a tough challenge, but one I couldn't refuse. Enjoy my corny, cheesy humor in all of its unabashed glory.

    1. What say you and I organize a writers block party? We can all stare at the blank page and extend one another some character sympathy.

    2. If you were a romance novelist, I would say, "Hi Lauri. I'd love for you to lavish me with your lusty literary alliteration."

    3. Words are funny and sometimes punny

    4. Similes make me smile like the Cheshire cat

    5. You're a funny girl
    witty and corny like me
    But I write Haiku

    6. The writer's best pickup line - Hey baby, what's your genre?

    7. If you're ever asked to participate in a literary menage a trois, you'd better be adept at writing third person.


    And that, my friend, is why I won't do two shows a night! Thanks for coming out and feel free to catch my show any time at the cheesy author improv.
    Drive safe and remember to tip your waitress.

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    1. You had me at "blank page." Well played, sir.

      Delete

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