Mechanics of Comedic Prose
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September 23rd, 2011 (12:24 AM).
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Coast - Australia
Quote originally posted by
Ouchies. You misspelled my name, bobandbill.
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Dang it, I
I had to check something else. I ought to ban myself from making long posts when tired.
Like that'll ever happen
. Sorry about that.
Yes, all right, Celebi fails in that context, but regardless of what anyone might have thought about that particular story, I
have some small experience of writing comedy.
Pfft, I'd hardly call The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World
experience. =p You're certainly one of the best comedy writers I've seen, for what it's worth.
In addition to this, it has to be remembered that comedy isn't drama. In a regular story, a character might go on a journey and become a better person for it, or at least
in some way. But in a lot of great comedies, it's always a circle: Basil Fawlty will always be snobbish, rude and incompetent, and Bertie Wooster will always be twenty-seven, clueless and a moron. Comedic characters go on a journey, but always return to the starting point - partly because often comedies are episodic, but partly because they show people who are, through being what they are, completely incapable of change.
Yeah, that's certainly true for a lot of them - always wraps back to the beginning no matter if it takes an episode or a season. (Seinfeld, here's looking at you).
Where was I? Oh yeah, you actually had questions. Right: planned vs. instant comedy. I found that when I started, the majority of the jokes were planned; I'd think up a clever reference or just something funny during the day, and decide to chuck it in there somewhere. Once you get into the zone, as it were, you find that jokes come to you out of nowhere. 85% of everything in
The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World
was made up as I went along, and is completely unedited; that includes plot and jokes. I find that making things up as I go tends to increase the humour, but that may just be me, since I work best on the hoof.
Hmm, I suppose this is true for myself as well; thinking how I'm currently going with my current chapter (in which my plan for the first part 'lol battle' in which my only planned details were how it ends, and so all my current ideas are on the go with the rest) and when I started the fic... certainly more on-the-go stuff nowadays. Plans are more for the big picture than anything now it seems, but still isn't always the case.
I don't try to be funny; I think that's the other important thing to note here.
Yes, have to agree there and with the previous wording too of not forcing out humour. That just... won't work.
EDIT: Oh, yeah, I forgot to add. Cutlerine, another good example of escalation to the point of chaos is definitely the work of Molierre. Which also reminds me that I forgot to mention absurdist humour, which lets the authour throw any sort of rules to the wind and
basically be completely random.
The best part being that if you mess up here and there the reader will assume you did it ironically because clearly, being as funny as you are,
you will not end up in the spiked pit of a faux pas unless you have climbed in intentionally.
A great way to trick the audience into thinking they have been amused is to make a joke that will invariably go ver their heads because it really isn't there. (Have read/do you read Homestuck at all? Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff is a good example of absurdist humour, as well as some of the normal levels, and Dave in general is guilty of the "Make jokes that aren't really there" mindset in general.) Remember- The American system of currency is based on imaginary gold (it used to be based on real gold, and the English currency is a pound Stirling), and yet the dollar (while suffering at the moment) is historically strong. There doesn't have to actually be anything there for it to have merit.
Gog damn, SB&HJ is a great example of that.
This made for good reading, have to say. =)
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