Comedy Writing Tips From Billy O’Connor – Carry A Pen And Less Is More

I earned a journalism degree, at 62, from the University of Florida. I love doing stand up comedy but it’s not my greatest talent. My greatest talent is writing. I guarantee that by applying a few simple rules of journalism to your writing, I can make your jokes better.

I will try and post two blogs a week. But if you have writer’s block or can’t feel rhythm in your cadence. I can help.

Let’s start simple.

LESSON One:

Always carry a pen. You don’t write in front of a computer. That’s where you edit. You write in the shower, while jogging, driving, while half asleep. You must have a pen to write even three words to jog the memory back to that thought. You can write on your arm if you have to. But you must have a pen. It’s as important as your wallet. When your mind drifts, the words and jokes come from the heart. I never had to change anything I woke up in the middle of the night to write.

LESSON Two:

Less is always more. Editing is not cleaning up after the party. Editing is the party. Write out your jokes. Then cut them. Never say in four words what you can say in two. eg: “Sorry the note is so long. I didn’t have time to make it shorter” You MUST write out your jokes, edit them and then turn them into your own words. I’ll have two more writing tips Thursday.

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