How to Write Humour.

Hi, This is my first group discussion so please  don’t shout,  stroke my hand and soothe my worries as I ask you all for advice and opinions.pout-1190741_960_720For a while I have toyed with writing a serious piece, a short or flash but showing humour through the anxt. So I searched goggle and Pinterest  and to no avail. Could I find any links to or guidelines for what I want to do… not on yer nelly.

Don’t get me wrong I could find funny children’s ideas or plain comedic pieces alas not serious edgy humour. Having been told repeatedly ‘you should write humour, you’re already funny it should be a breeze’ I didn’t think that there would be any guidelines, not to do’s or how to’s. I guess I am asking can you point out a link, a site, a book or give me some advice?

I will pull faces , poke tongues and drivel on and on and on until someone comes on a white charger and…


Author Notes

10 Comments for “How to Write Humour.”

Anisa Claire


Well, for starters you should get of Goggle and get on Google 😉 Hahaha. Humour is probably one of the harder genres, for me, anyway. I write it often, but it’s always bizarre humour that is a bit niche. I think my only advice to you would be to not try too hard. Be yourself 🙂


It is extraordinary that I can find nothing solid to help, there are so many sites for every other genre. Maybe Like with my waistline I just have to exercise… my funny bone maybe.

Tim Hillebrant


Hi Ellen,

Writing humor- that’s a hard one. I think it comes down to three things (counting on fingers here) 1) timing- injecting humor in the saddest part of the story isn’t going to work.
2) Study those who wrote humor before- Patrick McManus. An author from my neck of the woods, whose life in many ways mirrors my own sometimes, but also the writer of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read. There are others, but Patrick was on my mind, and since he was there, I figured I’d put him on your mind so I can go back to using mine.
3) If people tell you, you’re funny- then write what you know- you!
4) (Okay, I had extra fingers here, I’m multi-digited) As Greg noted so well, a lot of humor comes from telling stories of your life, things that happened that are funny in the telling, or anecdotes on something you’ve been through (not a tunnel).

I guess that’s it. I don’t have anymore observations to add. Except at the nature park. That’s all they let me do there.



Tah! dah! Boom! I will look at Patrick McManus thank you for the heads up on that.
There were neighbours either side of me who were in and out of each other’s houses like a priest in a confessional. Anne had been in hospital so Mary over the back fence was telling me ” It is a shame and she’s only thirty five, she had one of those shakes head hysterical rectorys… The vicar is visiting tonight so I hope he can lift her spirits”

Gregory Shipman


Hi Ellen,

I only have a minute so I’ll happily give you ten… or twenty… I’ve got a Mickey Mouse watch and we know rats can’t tell time.

Humor (note spelling) is only ‘observation of reality skewed’. It is the ability to portray what one sees in a non-conformist light. Humor either takes the edge off… or puts it on depending on what one smokes and in what quantity. That being said (or not)… I find that humor exists in almost all situations; be it light, dark or a mixture of same. It’s interesting that many comedians are, or have been, tortured souls. Maybe, for them, turning the serious into the ‘funny’ is a way to deal with life, death and vampirism…

Whenever I’m depressed I turn to humor (or get a tire pump). I find humor in everything (except my bank account). Take sex, for instance… oh wait! That’s rape (see how ‘edgy’ that statement is? Black humor… or should that be ‘dark humor’… note: politically correct)

Having read much of your work, I’d say the best way to inject humor is to just be yourself… let it all hang out!… unless there’s someone in the room other than your husband!



I am pleased you came here today. X waving You are correct a huge amount (note the CORRECT spelling ) of humour is having the confidence to write the way I’d chat with you/ or a person I’d feel comfortable bantering with. Your ability to cover politically correct black ( deep shade of grey) humour astounds me,
Most comics have and do suffer from depressive illnesses, as The “black dog” hangs over them they cover up their problems with comedic one liners ( Something I used to do frequently). As for me letting it hang out… I have reason to believe your capabilities in that area are somewhat better shaped for hanging…
Thank you and don’t be gone for so long next time. ?

Dave Allen


Ellen, I don’t write much humor, and don’t have any sources in the way of how-to-guides. I think the key is to read a lot of it, and steal what you can get away with. And practice – write a lot of it!

I remember reading an interview with the producers of Airplane! – pound for pound the funniest movie ever. They told the story of how they signed Peter Graves to play the pilot. They showed him the script, and when he realized it was a comedy, he initially turned it down – “I don’t know how to be funny,” he said. He’d only done serious roles before. That’s exactly why we want you, he was told. They had him say the most bizarre, inappropriate things with a delivery as straight and dry as if he were still shooting Mission Impossible.

Hope that helps!


Sorry Ellen too busy chuckling to myself to be able to give you any hints on humorous writing. I will post some limericks though they may give you some inspiration cheers


Are you laughing at my situation? Or my funny pictures. How very dare you torment the tormented, ,laugh in the face of my tongue repeatedly pokes out tongue

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