Story Prompt Monday: Comedy Writing Exercise

cheezitsWe’re going to have some fun this week! A short while back, I had a writing epiphany in the form of crafting a story outside my comfort zone. (I tried my hand at horror. Read about it here, the result was utterly satisfying.)
You might be thinking, “An epiphany? Sounds more like hyperbole.” Hear me out: I wanted to put more feeling in my writing, and being uncomfortable is a feeling I couldn’t ignore. I knew my horror story was on the right track because I felt my own dread. And, I had to stretch myself in ways I might not have dared, to fulfill my vague understanding of an unfamiliar genre.

I branch out all the time, now. I just wrote a sci-fi scene last night in my critique group, and a fantasy scene with the teen writers I mentor. I’m still not at entirely at ease approaching other genres. But I promise, it’s Fun with a capital F. You can do it too!

Comedy writing is intimidating, I think most of us can agree. But if you like sitcoms, and romcoms and dramedies as much as I do, isn’t worth a shot?

Have a look at the attached image. I have to wonder: what incident took place on November 14? It must have been pretty catastrophic, someone felt compelled make a poster using bold and underlined text, and an exclamation mark!

Write a scene (or short story) about that incident.
You’ll have to figure out:

Where the Cheez-Its came from, why, how many there were, and WHAT. ON. EARTH transpired.
Next, who made the poster? Why?

Perhaps the Cheez-It cracker company hopes we don’t use Cheez-Its. If you’re a fantasy writer, come up with a food only a magical race eats in your imaginary world (and why!). If you’re a Sci-Fi writer, choose some form of sustenance found onboard a craft or on another planet, moon, or space-station. If you’re Dystopian, Steampunk, or experimental, well–go where whim takes you, and report back.

Tips for comedy writing:

10 Comedy Concept Exercises <<These tips from Blake Snyder are excellent, and will have you off and writing in no time!

A Few Essential Points on the Elements Of Comedy

Humor Writing for People Who Aren’t Funny

10 Ways to Improve Your Writing While Thinking Like a Comedy Writer

Still daunted by comedy? Not to worry. Try another prompt idea from a past: Sometimes your closest confidant is a stranger. 

Post your scene in the comments below! Follow me on Twitter at @TheRJLacko. I love to chat with writers.

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