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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10 – Mistborn The Final Empire – by Brandon Sanderson – Mastering the Grand Skill of Worldbuilding

Sanderson is a master of creating compelling fantasy worlds. Mistborn is a perfect example – and it’s one of the best novel’s I’ve read this year. In this episode, I’ll analyse different techniques Sanderson uses to craft an amazing world.

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Shownotes:

Brandon Sanderson’s (Amazing!) writing lectures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ZDBOc2tX8&list=PLH3mK1NZn9QqOSj3ObrP3xL8tEJQ12-vL

Brandon Sanderson’s Laws of Magic: https://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-first-law/

***

Twitter: @JedHerne

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9 – The Stars my Destination by Alfred Bester – Grounding the Future in the Past

The Stars my Destination is a golden age sci-fi novel that has lots to teach – oddly enough – about realism. Bester extracts qualities from historical eras to ground his world in a sense of truth, and in this episode I explore how he does this and how you can do the same.

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***

Twitter: @JedHerne

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8 – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Creating Empathy for the Hero

If you want readers to keep turning pages, empathy is crucial. In this episode, I examine how Cline uses goals to make readers care about Wade Watts in Ready Player One.

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***

Twitter: @JedHerne

Want awesome short stories, bite-sized writing advice, and lists of the best books to improve your craft? Join my VIP email list!

Shownotes:

(note: this post may have affiliate links – using them will give me a tiny bit of money, at no extra cost to you!)

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (affiliate link – using it will give me a tiny bit of money, at no extra cost to you)

7 – The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie – Exploring Theme

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and what made it strong was Abercrombie’s masterful control of theme. In this episode, I examine how The Heroes doesn’t cram a moral down readers throats, but instead uses characters, structure, and symbolism to explore how in a war it’s impossible to be a hero in every way and at every time …

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***

Twitter: @JedHerne

Want awesome short stories, bite-sized writing advice, and lists of the best books to improve your craft? Join my VIP email list!

Shownotes:

Joe’s article on theme in The Heroes

Story by Robert McKee

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

(note: this post may have affiliate links – using them will give me a tiny bit of money, at no extra cost to you!)

6 – Neuromancer by William Gibson – 6 Lessons for Writers

Neuromancer was a 1984 genre-defining novel – and it still has a lot to teach writers today. Settle in as I extract 6 key lessons from this ground-breaking sci-fi novel.

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***

Twitter: @JedHerne

Want awesome short stories, bite-sized writing advice, and lists of the best books to improve your craft? Join my VIP email list!

Shownotes:

Neuromancer by William Gibson

(note: this post may have affiliate links – using them will give me a tiny bit of money, at no extra cost to you!)