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Once you have an idea, how can you turn it into comedy? One way is by the use of exaggeration. Once you start making the end results more than they would normally be, the result is frequently humorous. Or it could be that the effort expended by your character is out of proportion to the end result – or perhaps the end result is not what he expected.

This can be seen in the Roadrunner cartoons where the ‘baddy’ tries with great effort to do the roadrunner in but his plans usually backfire onto himself.

The use of literary devices is also an aid to writing comedy. You can make use of ambiguity where there is unclear or double meaning to a word or phrase. Alliteration also creates a comic touch to the sound of your comedy. Euphemism can also be used to lighten a serious subject such as death. This can be referred to as ‘kicking the bucket’ or some of the other phrases we sometimes adopt for death and dying, while ‘doing him’ in is how murder is often referred to in comedy.

Your ideas really need to be funny to start with and then using the above devices can strengthen the humor in them. If your ideas are not funny – if they don’t make you laugh when you write them – then you must ask if they will make anyone else laugh. If not, revise.

Some writers start at the ending and work backwards. If you have a funny ending in your mind, you can write the second last line, then the last line, then go backwards from there in creating how this funny situation came about. You should never have too many characters in your comedic writing. You are not writing a novel. Two or three for each scene should be sufficient.

When you are writing comedy, don’t forget to make use of silence. It is often the silent pause that makes something funny, or even funnier. And if you want a pause, you have to write it into the script. Not everyone will realize there should be a pause there.

If you are a complete beginner, it would help you tremendously to take a course or study in writing comedy. Getting one-on-one tuition can hone your skills dramatically; with an expert to guide you, your career could take off a great deal more quickly.

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Source by Laura S James