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Funny Business: Finding Humor

A comedy writer at work

Grow your skills as a comedy writer

You have a funny bone, but you seem to have misplaced it in your writing. How can you create a balance with all those pesky narrative components while adding humor? This course will set you on the path to highlight moments with humor. We will utilize myriad narrative writing techniques to add action, characters, conflict, dialogue, narrative momentum, scenes, setting and structure to create work that will be shared within the safe, fun, and trusted online classroom environment.

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Required Books:



Course Outline


Lesson 1: Defining Humor

  • Discuss the history of comedy
  • Describe subtle nuances of humor through class texts and media observations (from improv, short stories, and nonfiction)
  • Class discussion on what makes something funny
  • In-class writing prompts to share with classmates

Lesson 2: Identifying Comedic Moments

  • Identify what you would like to write about – is it based on a character, (real or imagined) a job you had as a teenager, a relationship?
  • Examine your past as your plot for inspiration
  • Discussion on how to begin infusing humor into your writing

Lesson 3: Comedy Rules

  • Types of comedic situations (fish out of water scenario, comedic rule of three)
  • How to let your readers know your intent
  • Connecting your writing with your intended audience
  • Stay focused on the story you set out to tell

Lesson 4: Creating Your Comedy Toolkit

  • How to identify and avoid comedy cliches
  • Deciding what to add in and what to leave out
  • Character archetypes
  • Trying out metaphors and word choices

Lesson 5: Authentically Funny

  • Crafting relatable moments
  • Different types of humor (from satire to sarcasm)
  • It’s all about the relationships
  • Allowing humor to be a character

Lesson 6: Defining Your Comedic Voice

  • Finding ways to establish your comedic voice
  • Why humor can be so effective
  • Discovering your sense of humor
  • Tools for moving forward

Learner Outcomes


After this class, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the history of comedy
  • Describe what makes something funny
  • Build a comedy toolkit following established rules
  • Identify humor in media
  • Determine how to add humor in your narrative
  • Submit several chapters or vignettes for workshop
  • Apply tools for continued writing after the course conclusion


Course Schedule

TypeDateTimeLocation
Online (Instructor-led)Feb 2, 2022 to Mar 9, 20227:00PM - 9:00PMZoom

Funny Business: Finding Humor

Contact Hours
12 hours

Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit - $425.00

Instructor

  • Jennifer Taylor