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Ten Ways to Revise Humor

There are many ways to revise humor. If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a list of ten ways to revise your piece.

1. Revise for Exaggeration
Read through your piece and find sections where enlargement or distortion could be used to create comic situations. Is your piece realistic enough to benefit from exaggeration?

2. Revise for Understatement
Read through your piece and find sections where a subtle lack of expression might be funny.

3. Revise for Association
Read through your piece and make a list of comic associations. Now incorporate the best ones.

4. Revise for Irony
Is there enough sarcasm in your piece? Or too much? Does everything mean what it says? Do all of the characters say what they mean?

5. Revise for Running Gag
Introduce a new joke at the beginning of your piece and repeat it for comic payoff throughout.

6. Revise for Surprise
Does your piece manage to surprise the reader? Does the set-up work?

7. Revise for Double Entendre
Read through your piece and identify words or phrases that invite two interpretations. Come up with a title for your piece that is a funny double entendre.

8. Revise for Telegraphing
Read through your introduction. Did you telegraph the ending of your story to the reader? Revise your opening paragraph until it includes the right amount of details.

9. Revise for Puns
Read through your story and look for places where you can make funny plays on words.

10. Revise for Realism
Is your story universal enough for others to relate? Do you play with the humor of everyday life? Read through your piece and ground it in common situations.


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