Comedy Writing Secrets (2nd ed.), by Mel Helitzer with Mark Shatz

My Copy: 9781582973579 (image from pinterest)

Comedy Writing Secrets is just as advertised: a book about how to work with comedy in writing. Not much more than that, but at the same time, MUCH more than that.

The premise seems too simple, but there are plenty of great examples of how different aspects of comedy work, such as the use of aphorisms, word-play, attributions, puns, over/under-statements, etc. There are great lines from well-known and emerging comics in this book as well.

Not hard to laugh while reading this book.

I’ve read through it twice and made some notes, and each time I think about something new. Not going to say I’m ready to storm the stage and be a stand-up comedian or anything…yet…but there’s a little something in how humor works without deconstructing it to death.

That’s always my worry about “how to write funny” books, that they’ll spoil the hell out of it with over-explaining. And it flows well enough that you read through it faster than you’d think you would. It’s divided into reasonable parts with plenty of “sidebars” to elaborate and keep your interest a bit. Not a boring reference read by any stretch.

Comedy Writing Secrets is a well-worth it resource for anyone who wants to write more humor into their stories, or be stand-up comedians, filmmakers, etc. It’s a shelf-staple in the writing reference department.

Happy reading (very happy if your humor’s intact).

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