This episode is about writing humor. Andrea tells a joke only she thinks is funny, then calls our humor expert, Jay Wexler, who confirms just how funny her joke is. Jay is an attorney and the author of five books. You can find his books at Jaywex.com. Later in the show, Jay shares his ten suggestions for writing humor. Andrea adds four. Together, they have 14 suggestions for writing humor.
Terry DeMeo introduces herself before telling a story in front of a live audience, at Lip Service. In her own words, Terry wonders about who she is. She’s a former lawyer and currently a life coach. Also a writer.
The story Terry tells is about undying her hair, but you’ll realize as she realizes that the story is about much more than hair. She tells her story in front of a live audience in Miami. Andrea notes that while many of the audience members are over 40 years old, no one lets her hair go gray, except Andrea. Terry’s story is called Fifty Shades of Gray.
Jay Wexler’s 10 Humor Commandments (Plus Four):
1. Do not start with a joke.
2. Piggy back on the absurd hilarity of the world.
3. Use self-deprecation.
4. Stuck? Break into a non-prose element, like a chart or graph.
5. Write about bad or awkward sex.
6. Mine your pain and humiliation.
7. When in doubt--deadpan. Less is more.
8. Be brutal in your editing.
9. Don't feel funny? Get your ass out of the chair!
10. Add an animal.
11. State the obvious.
12. Use call-backs.
13. Land on the joke.
14. Create surprise.
After hearing Terry’s story, Andrea goes through Jay’s ten humor suggestions and shows how Terry used many of them successfully. You don’t have to be a clown to write humor, you just have to be willing to face your fear.
This episode is brought to you by BRAINBUZZ. If you’re a business, or a writer, or a podcast, and you are desperate for attention, because who isn’t? BRAINBUZZ is for you. BrainBuzz uses neuroscience, the science of the brain, to make social media marketing work.
To get in touch with Cat and hire BrainBuzz to do your social media marketing, email firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s CAT@Brainbuzz.co (not com). To get a free half hour consultation, use the promo code: Writing Class Radio. Just put Writing Class Radio in the subject line of your email.
This episode is also sponsored by Israel Story--a podcast where you hear surprising and intimate stories about Israelis. Stories you won’t get from the news. Israel Story is hosting a live show on February 16, 2016 at 7:30pm at the University of Miami Cosford Theater. For tickets go to writingclassradio.com and click the link Israel Story at the bottom of our home page.
If you live in or near Miami, we have a class at Books & Books in Coral Gables on January 23, 2016. Just $75 and you get a free Michael Roger Decomposition notebook. The most beautiful tree-free notebook ever made.
If you’re hearing this episode after January 23, 2016, don’t panic. We’ll be offering more writing workshops like this one, open to the public, for sure. Check our website for dates. writingclassradio.com.
Here’s your assignment: Set a timer for eight minutes. When the timer goes off, stop. Then read what you wrote into your voice memo on your phone and email it to us at email@example.com Some of your stories will get workshopped in class and end up right here on our show.
Here’s the prompt: Write about a time something painful happened.
Coming up in the next episode we’re going back to an issue we’ve touched on in previous episodes and one that comes up often for artists: what do we have to lose in telling our stories?