When we say writers should do stand-up comedy we do not, in any way, recommend a change of profession for full time writers, because while every stand-up comedian is a writer, not every writer is a stand-up comedian. But, getting up on stage and delivering a few funny bits to an audience can be highly beneficial for full time writers. However, getting up on stage is not easy, and many people suffer from stage fright, and if that is the case with you, then you will not be able to reap the benefits of being an amateur stand-up comedian for a few minutes. There is another option, in that case: start thinking like a stand-up comedian. Do bits in front of the mirror for yourself and see whether you can be funny. One of the biggest reasons why we recommend this is because humor is necessary in any book, be it fiction or nonfiction. However, there is a difference between written humor, and humor that is presented on stage. The latter can unlock aspects of your creativity which will have a great impact on your writing. Below, you will find several of those.
1. Learning from others
Writers hone their craft in a myriad of different ways, and one of those ways is learning from others. Getting out there and attending open-mic nights at a bar will give you the opportunity to meet other stand-up comedians. You will be able to see not only how they present their jokes, but you can also approach them and have them share with you some of their writing methods. Moreover, there is nothing more inspiring than witnessing other people doing what they love best to do, which means you will always come home with new vigor, which will undoubtedly cause you to write more.
2. Surprising your readers
Any comedy writer will tell you – the secret to any joke is story, misdirection and surprise. Attempting stand-up comedy will make you start to think creatively like a comedian or a comedy writer, and that means you will need to create really short stories which will have a surprising twist at the end. Once you get the hang of it, with many repetitions, you can move on to applying that to your writing, and once you start doing that throughout your whole book, your readers will always be surprised and read on the edge of their seats. Remember that nothing will hold your readers’ attention more than writing that is entertaining as well as interesting.
3. Becoming fearless
Once you start writing with the background of a comedy writer, you will become braver in your writing. Whereas previously you may not have wanted to tackle a subject, or did not want to put in a very entertaining scene in your book which you felt might not be appropriate; now you might find yourself not holding back in this manner, and exploring your creativity to the fullest. This will also give you the insight of mind to approach many different topics, themes, scenes and characters in your books from an altered angle – humor and entertainment angle – which can take you in many adventurous phases of your writing, which were previously locked within you.
4. Creating repeating phrases
Repeated catchphrases that are funny, quirky characters that are defined by something that is highly unexpected and surprising, characters that are even flat out weird, seem easy to create until you attempt to do so in your writing. Take a good look at your characters – are they too serious? Do your scenes have conflict and tension which is always meaningful and important? Do any of your characters have a funny trait, or aspect about them? If not, then you need to come up with ways to liven up your story. Comedy is a very good way to add dynamics to the tension levels in a scene for your readers – your readers will laugh while your characters are in a situation which is difficult for them, but very humorous to the readers.
5. Engaging in playfulness
Comedy in essence is laughter. Getting out there and laughing at yourself, with others will help you add more playfulness to your life in general, which will have an impact on your writing. No longer will you drone on as you write your exposition of scenes, or think up character names that fall flat and have no ring to them. Engaging in playfulness through stand-up comedy will also feed your creativity more than any other activity you can participate in, and you will find yourself embarking on a new direction in your writing. You will encounter changes in your writing process and writing method, and write better in general.
Image credit: Halal Bilal on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.