From Punchline to Pathos: Writing Comedy

Luke Ryan

Saturday 10 November 2018, 10am-4pm

Full Price: $195
Member: $135
Conc Member: $120

Comic writing is an art unto itself, but one sorely missing from contemporary discussions of how we write.

This workshop will cover the how, what and why of comic writing – from misdirection, to analogy, to the rule of threes and beyond – and transform your everyday anecdotes and observations into razor-sharp, Sedaris-style routines.

Starting with a general introduction into the types and forms of comedic writing, we’ll focus primarily on the mechanics of comic memoir: how to spot comic anecdotes in your own life; how to draw out the beats and empathetic heart of a story; how to find the punchline and impart the message. We’ll focus on joke form and construction.

By the end of the day, you should have a new appreciation of the complexities of and opportunities afforded by writing comedy – both as a legitimate (and enjoyable) literary form and also as a component of your everyday writing practice.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  1. Participants will learn how to take an idea from unpopped kernel to fully fleshed comedic gem.
  2. Participants will understand the basic structure and types of comic writing.
  3. Participants will learn how to identify and draw out the comedic beats of a story.
  4. Participants will develop an ability to spot opportunities for jokes and make them work both on the page and out loud.
  5. Participants will be able to find the empathetic comic core in even the most personal of material.

Participant Requirements

Bring a maximum 1000-word story/excerpt of your writing for workshopping (time permitting).

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