Recap: creation of gags, ANY OCCASION / any SUBJECT
2. Research your audience / readers and their interests to decide what subject(s) to write jokes on. It's far easier to gag-write to a theme than to no theme. Any gag-writer needs a starting point.
3. Brainstorm and briefly note down everything you can find about those subjects.
4. Produce a series of lists or mind maps, one for each subject. I find it best to do this on paper. Often I find myself working with 5 or 6 sheets or more, spread out on the table or even on the floor.
5. Scour your output looking for anything that is quirky or obviously funny, i.e. a joke in itself. More importantly, look for links / connections between apparently unrelated areas. Wherever you find such a link, there's a joke. It just needs carving from the rough and 'cutting' like you would the facets of a diamond. Mark the links prominently with different colour highlighters.
6. First: decide on a punchline. It's really important to do this early, because it's easier to disguise it that wway.
7. Like a magician disguising the finale of a trick, lead your audience down the wrong path. You're making your punchline unpredictable.
8. Try to reveal the punchline right at the end, even in the very last word.
Putting it into practice: How I wrote my first joke
Subject and very short brainstorm
Most people like dogs. I certainly do. So I started with them as my theme.
I remembered our dog Gus who loved to run off with things and be chased. Next I contemplated how you might stop a runaway dog.
Choosing a punchline
The phrase 'kick him in the nuts' formed in my mind. Although this was clearly a bit fruity, I decided to use it as a punchline.
Wanting to hide the fact that I'm talking about the dog's nether regions, I needed to bring in a link to another form of nut.
Another tiny bit of brainstorming
Consider different kinds of nuts:
Nuts that grow on trees, eg hazelnuts
Unkind and unfair description of the mentally ill
Nuts as in nuts and bolts
A lot of handy men use socket sets, a super-dooper set of nuts and bolts.
How about a socket set then? Actually, not bad.
Putting together the completed joke
Here then is my first ever deliberate, methodically produced joke:
A dog ran off with my socket set... so I kicked him in the nuts.
I hope this doesn't offend you in any way. I'm not advocating violence to dogs or any other animal.
I'm using this gag because of its significance as my first and it leading to a successful career in speechwriting, entertainment and other areas of comedy.
Take care until my next post and beyond,