How to Write Short, Humor Stories

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The market for short stories is competitive, but magazine editors complain that in spite of the volume of short stories they receive daily, the gems among them are few. However, they are always receptive to a well-written, entertaining short story. Aspiring writers can now also explore the plethora of writing websites where they can find a platform for their work while engaging in reciprocal feedback with fellow writers. Of all the short story themes, arguably, the humorous is the most difficult to get right. If it feel that your talents lie in this direction, follow these two P words: practice and polish.

How to Write Humorous Short Stories

  • Develop a plot. Do not get so carried away with the narrative and the humor that you forget about the reader. A series of gags is not a story. If your talent is for writing jokes, perhaps you should follow a different route, such as writing for comedians or joke books. A short story should have a structure and a plot.

  • Read as many short stories as you can. Try writers such as P.G. Wodehouse, who many consider to be a master of humorous writing. Do not try to imitate the narrative voice of other writers, but learn about the use of language, and the structure of a short story. Think about the type of comic writing that makes you laugh. This can vary widely from person to person.

  • Practice daily. Writing is a craft as much as an art. It may be a cliche that many successful writers could paper their walls with rejections slips; but like many cliches, this has the strong ring of truth. Accept constructive criticism from editors. The fact that they are bothering to offer it may mean that they saw something in your writing that was worth encouraging.

  • Join a writing group, if you find the solitary nature of writing difficult or frustrating. Many writers find inspiration and learn a lot about their craft from other writers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Edit your short story again and again. Do not send out a first draft.

References

  • Photo Credit Michael Hitoshi/Photodisc/Getty Images
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