How to write funny
Comic writer John Vorhaus says in the book The Comic Toolbox that you don’t need funny bones for comic writing, you need tools.
The one tool he recommends is – break rules, write in a passive tense.
Here is an example:
The room was walked into by a man by whom strong, handsome features were had. A woman was met by him. The bed was lain upon by her. Then the bed was lain upon by him. Clothing was removed from them both. Sex was had. The climax was achieved. Afterward, cigarettes were smoked by them. Suddenly, the door opened by the husband of the woman by whom the bed was lain upon. A gun was held by him. Some screams were screamed and angry words were exchanged. Jealousy was felt by the man by whom the gun was held. The firing of the gun was done by him. The floor was hit by the bodies. Remorse was then felt by the man by whom the gun was held. The gun was turned upon himself. And the rest, as they say, is forensics!
I had a go at it with some random paragraphs I picked from an old diary, exaggerating it and writing it in the past tense.
- Late waking up was done this morning. Mucking around was not held. The efficiency was experienced by achieving more in less time. The problems of the world were not contemplated upon while sitting on the throne.
- A meeting was held between me and the acting boss. This week’s action items were discussed. The disagreement was reached over tiny matters. The tempers were lost. The voices were raised. Desperate attempts were made by both sides to hold their grounds. The moods were spoiled. The swords were drawn. The throats would have been slain had the meeting not gone over time. Lives were saved due to time constraints.
- The gym bag was forgotten at home. A detour was made. The gym bag was picked up. The car was driven to the gym. The gym clothes were put on. The exercise was done half-heartedly. Machines were used to lift weights.
- The neighbor’s doorbell was rung. The door was opened by the neighbor with work clothes still on. A piece of paper was given to her with our phone number. A verbal invitation was extended for dinner at the house owned by us. A dinner promise, made to each other fifteen years ago, was fulfilled.