24 – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 2 – How to Write Funny

In the second part of my analysis of Hitchhikers I extract micro and macro techniques for creating comedy. (You don’t need to have listened to the 1st part for this to make sense).

Micro comedy techniques include:

  1. Garden Path – lead readers to expect a certain outcome, then deliver another.
  2. Emphasis on what comes last
    • Not so much a humour technique, but generally the last word in a paragraph has the most impact. (like we saw in that last quote)
  3. Literal Mis-interpretation: take a term normally used just to convey an idea, then actually follow through with the meaning:
  4. Fun with Homophones
  5. Reframe – how can you make readers see a common thing or a common concept in a different, more humourous, absurdist, satirical way?
  6. Oxymoron – the linking of two ideas which really don’t make sense together

Macro techniques include:

  1. Genre awareness
  2. Escalation
  3. Absurdism
  4. Surprise! (aka Subverting Expectations)
  5. Synthesis with the theme:

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***

Shownotes:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FunWithHomophones

https://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/humor-writing-filled-novel

 

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23 – The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 1 – Why Characters Don’t Matter

This absurdly funny sci-fi comedy is a fantastic example of how you don’t always need amazing characters to create an amazing story. Buckle up as we use Orson Scott Card’s MICE quotient to analyse what makes this novel work. And remember: don’t panic!

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***

Shownotes:

http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/Workshop-stuff/MICE-Quotient.htm

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22 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Finding your Perfect Prose

Fitzgerald’s classic chronicle of the Jazz age is often praised for its wonderful prose. In this episode, I examine what makes his prose so stylistically appealing – and we look at how you can write better prose. Keep beating on, boats against the current!

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***

Shownotes:

Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

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21 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Meaningful Endings and the Truth

21 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Meaningful Endings and the Truth.

Truth. It’s one of the most important aspects of story – especially of stories that are fantastical. In this episode, I explore how Gaiman created a truthful, meaningful, and emotional resonant ending to his Hugo and Newberry award-winning novel: The Graveyard Book. (Includes bonus singing from yours truly) Enjoy!

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***

Shownotes:

Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

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20 – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson – Avalanche Endings

If you want to learn how to write explosive, fast-paced, balastic endings, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is an excellent novel to study – which is what I do in this episode! Enjoy!

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***

Shownotes:

Want to read my free short story? Get it here: A Clockwork Prison

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19 – Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy – The Art of Naming

In this episode, I look at how Derek uses names to craft compelling, fleshed-out, interesting characters. Enjoy!

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Shownotes:

Derek’s tactics for creating awesome characters (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB5o1uAqodA

Superhero nation article on names: http://www.superheronation.com/2007/10/15/character-naming-superheroes-and-otherwise/

Random name generators:

https://www.behindthename.com/random/

https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/

18 – Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Misfit Characters

Sometimes the key to compelling characters is to make them NOT fit neatly into your plot. That’s what Sanderson does in Warbreaker – a stand-alone fantasy book (that he also gives away for free on his website!).

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***

Shownotes:
Get Warbreaker for free from Brandon’s website: https://brandonsanderson.com/books/warbreaker/warbreaker/
Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

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