Writing Stand up Comedy — Writing Jokes

If you’re new to writing stand up comedy and even if you’re an experienced stand up comedy writer, you may have created several jokes from the different premises that are not in any logical order. You will need to take those jokes and put them into a logical order to create a great routine.

When writing stand up comedy, a great way to organize and save your material is to keep a file. You can use index cards in a box, a computer program, or a file cabinet and folders. When you file a joke, make several copies so that you can file it under each subject that is covers.

Suppose you wrote the following joke. Consider what subjects or topics could branch out from it:

“All my friends say I’m paranoid. Well, I didn’t actually hear them say it.”

Some of the subjects you might come up with when writing stand up comedy for the above include paranoia, psychology, and friends. When you work on creating a stand up comedy routine around any of these subjects, you will know exactly where to find this joke and others you have written that fall under the same categories. As you build your routines, you can use this same system to be organized.

A good goal for writing stand up comedy is to write ten jokes a day for four days. Then, on the fifth day go through those jokes, select the best ones and rewrite them. By doing this, even if you only create one superb joke a week you will end the year with 52 jokes. For your next act, you will be able to go into your files, pull out the jokes you want, and be half way done with the work for your new stand up comedy routine.

Writing stand up comedy is a great process for building your routine. Several comics can use the same jokes and create completely different comedy routines. Having a method for writing stand up comedy will help you use your personal preferences to build your routine. You can alter your methods at any time to better suit your creative style.

The following steps are your playground; you can use them as they are, rearrange them, or even skip the ones you do not like. Make this routine creation system yours.

Steps to the Writing Stand Up:
1. Use one index card for each joke.
2. Sort the jokes into categories.
3. Organize the jokes so that one flows into the next.
4. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!

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