Sorry about the big gap between posts folks, just back after a little holiday.
Joke-making is an example of pure creative thinking. Anyone can improve their capacity to make up jokes simply by practising and keeping an open mind.
Practise makes perfect, as the old saying goes.
Practise works because our brain is like a set of muscles, each there to do a different job.
If you lift weights you get stronger arms. It's just the same with creativity.
I'm not saying that if you practise making jokes you'll get stronger arms - but I think you know what I mean.
Here are some ground rules for becoming an expert gagster:
Regularly set aside time to practise - 5 minutes daily will do
Look at the process and any results of it positively
Don't instantly rubbish any idea
Come back to your ideas later: you might've missed a gem
Don't inhibit your thinking in any way
Choose a starting topic, but feel free to stray anywhere
If anything surprises you, it'll surprise other people
Practise surprising an audience or reader.
I recommend that you get out any of the following recommended books etc which you've managed to get and just browse through them, looking at anything connected with your starting subject.
Remember, by looking for similarities and differences (ie comparing and contrasting) connections or links will come to you.
And wherever there's a link there's a joke.
(NB: This list is an update and contains a few books not previously mentioned.)
A slang dictionary
A reverse dictionary
A rhyming dictionary
A full English dictionary
A dictionary of humorous quotations
Wit and Wisdom for the 21st Century
A biographical dictionary
The Book of British Hit Singles
I think we've had enough theory for the moment, so for the next few posts we'll be doing some more freewheeling-style gag-making.
Best regards, Marc