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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13 – The Martian by Andy Weir – Problem and Response Story Structure

book-review-the-martian

I’ve read this book multiple times and love it more with each re-read. In this episode, I try to figure out why it’s so engaging, and end up categorising problems/conflict into 6 distinctive archetypes which can benefit any story.

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Listen on Spotify

Listen on Stitcher

Or click here to listen online

***

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4 – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein – Writing an Amazing Midpoint

Done poorly, midpoints can bog down your story with annoying slowness. That’s not the case in today’s novel, which showcases one possible solution to avoiding the dreaded soggy middle.

Listen here.

Shownotes:

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein (affiliate link – using it will give me a tiny bit of money, at no extra cost to you)