A Romantic Comedy Writer's Three Essential Truths
Updated: Apr 16
1. LEARN FROM MISTAKES
Writers who write humor find it helpful to jot down funny happenings as they occur. Funniness and mayhem are all around us, but if we don’t capture the moment that made us chuckle, only a smidgen of the incident remains by the time we write our piece.
Does this sound familiar? Your fingertips hover over the keyboard in anticipation of writing the hysterical incident you witnessed the other day. A real pee-in-your-pants hee-haw. But stop. Wait. Ut-Oh. You type a couple of sentences and terror of terrors; you don’t have enough recall to relay the scene. It’s like it never happened at all. Why can’t you remember? You’ve got so much going on in your life, something’s gotta give, and memory volunteered for the “slacker” position. There isn’t much you can do about it. But recollection doesn't have to exist in fuzzy, grey shadows.
2. REMEMBER HEE-HAWS
I carry a WTF book to jot comical jewels that tickle my funny bone during the day. It’s a small journal that I velcro to my forehead. If I leave the cottage, it goes with me. When I see/hear something that grabs and twists my funny bone, I jot it down. I’ve learned no matter how funny something is at the time, it’s not in proportion to how much I’ll remember the details minutes later. I MUST write it down. Sometimes, just a little memory jogger, two or three words. Once you recall the main gist of the incident, even if you forget all the little things that happened around it, you can always improvise, embellish, and create a hysterical “story around the story.” That is what humorists do. Their lives are not nonstop 24/7 sitcoms, but they are creative and come slithering through the back alley to figure out how to tickle funny bones.
I say my WTF book is always with me, but it isn’t. Some days, I leave it at home like I leave a ton of other stuff at home that’s supposed to go with me.
So, on to Plan B:
2b. “MacGyver Mode.” Usually, you can find something, anything, to write on. I’ve substituted a napkin or ten, the note section on my smartphone, my palm, and even my left forearm (I’m right-handed) if inspiration is throwing tons of giggle-bits my way.
3. EXUDE PASSION
You must have a true passion for writing. I’m not talking about one of those, I’ll write some stuff down and see if I can make a few bucks.’ Passion is created out of love, so if you find a passion for writing, you will never lose your desire to complete a story. A story that came from you, 100 percent. You will find when the love of writing plants your behind in a chair, the passion behind the words keeps you coming back until you’ve written your happily ever after ending.