How to write funny stories (with pictures)

Table of contents:

How to write funny stories (with pictures)
How to write funny stories (with pictures)

Humor is an important part of everyday life. People use humor to calm stressful situations, relieve stress and sadness, and connect with other people through laughter. If you have a great sense of humor and are interested in writing, you are probably wondering how to combine your talents. Writing a funny story is not as difficult as you think, so start with your manuscript and let your funny stories make others laugh.


Part 1 of 3: Get Started

Write Funny Stories Step 1
Write Funny Stories Step 1

Step 1. Identify your style of humor

When you sit down to write funny stories, you need to be aware of your personal humor style. If you're trying to write in a style that doesn't suit your strengths as a comedian or storyteller, then your story might not be as good as it could be. There are many types or styles of humor. Some of the most popular include:

  • The Anecdote: focuses on hilarious personal stories, which can be slightly edited for comic effect.
  • Parody: involves caricaturing and imitation, often with exaggerated features.
  • Black humor: involves topics such as death and other types of misfortune. He usually has a pessimistic point of view, but in a comical way.
  • Sly humor: uses the lack of emotions or expressions to present funny material.
  • The absurd: resort to sketch or satire that involves highly improbable circumstances, they tend to go hand in hand with exaggerated reactions and frenzied movements.
  • The intellectual humor: it involves educated or intelligent subjects.
  • Hyperbolic humor: use excess and exaggeration for a comic effect.
  • The irony: it usually involves a break from normalcy or a situation in which the audience has more information than the characters have.
  • The satire: the argument points to the weaknesses or to the ruin of the person or of the society with comic effects.
  • Self-deprecating humor: humor is derived from the comedian or narrator's ability to make fun of himself.
  • Situational humor: usually uses some elements of the farce, the absurd or the circus comedy to make fun of everyday situations.
  • Circus Comedy: Use physical comedy to represent simulated violence and bodily harm.
Write Funny Stories Step 2
Write Funny Stories Step 2

Step 2. Decide what your story is about

Before you can write a funny story, you must have some idea about the story itself. It is not enough to have jokes or a funny setting. The story has to be good so that it can reinforce the humorous elements.

  • Brainstorm. If you're stuck, try watching funny movies and reading funny stories to get some inspiration.
  • Pick a setting. The setting itself doesn't need to be funny (although it can be), but it should make sense to the characters and plot you're creating.
  • Think about what you want your story to finally express. Is it a story about overcoming adversity? Is it a commentary on modern society?
Write Funny Stories Step 3
Write Funny Stories Step 3

Step 3. Create conflict and tension

Ideally, the tension and its resolution in the story should illustrate some aspect of human nature. Good comedy does this too, so think about what your story and humor mean in the context of this piece of writing. Remember that something has to happen, it is not enough to write a series of humorous events if they do not have any meaning.

  • Conflict and tension drive the plot of a funny story or movie.
  • For example, in Chris Farley's film Tommy Boy, the conflict is at the risk of Tommy's evil stepmother and her secret husband selling the business and getting away with it. Tension arises from conflict as the narrative progresses to a point where everything must be resolved.
  • Determine what the central conflict will be.
  • The conflict in your story should create tension. Because this is a funny story, that tension can be funny in itself. Also the circumstances that surround it (how it develops or how it is resolved) can be humorous.
  • Create some types of risks. A good story must have some result along the character line, which can be funny or tragic (but it must be realistic).
  • Sketch the rising action, the climax, and the falling action. Typically, climax is the high point of tension, and rising and falling action reinforces and relieves that tension respectively.
Write Funny Stories Step 4
Write Funny Stories Step 4

Step 4. Pick a point of view

Choosing a point of view of the story involves deciding who will best tell the story and how that transformation should be presented. The main options out there are the first, second, and third person. Objectively, there is no right or wrong option, as they all depend on what you think works best for your story.

  • The first person is where a story is told using "I", "me" and "mine". It is the subjective perspective of the character on the events of the story and, generally, the narrator is the protagonist (the main character) or a nearby secondary character who tells the story of the protagonist.
  • The second person is where the story is told directly to "you" (without any "me" except in dialogue). The reader imagines himself as part of the argument. In addition, the action is written as follows: "You must go down the stairs with him and you will be surprised what you will find."
  • The omniscient third person is where an omniscient (all-seeing, all-knowing) narrator presents the story without referring to an "I" or addressing the reader as "you." The reader can understand the events, thoughts and motivations that each character experiences.
  • The limited third person is where there is a narrative style similar to that of the omniscient third person. However, this style offers insight into a character's thoughts and feelings. The narrative follows the protagonist and presents the world he experiences.
Write Funny Stories Step 5
Write Funny Stories Step 5

Step 5. Create funny situations

A funny story requires funny situations and scenarios. In fact, some of the humor can be derived even from events that happen in an inappropriate or unusual setting. Regardless of what scenarios or situations you create for your story, be sure to accommodate the narrative to allow for funny occasions.

  • Some classic comic situations involve the wrong identity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply inserting a character or object into a situation that it does not naturally belong to.
  • An example of a funny situation could be a man who does not realize that the lunch he has been invited to is in a fancy restaurant and appears in shorts and a T-shirt that has his pet's image engraved on it. It's not funny in and of itself, but it does create opportunities for humor as the narrative progresses and the man needs to explain.
Write Funny Stories Step 6
Write Funny Stories Step 6

Step 6. Create funny characters

Good characters are vital to any story, and funny stories are no different. It can be more difficult for a character to be well written and funny, but it is not impossible. Make sure the characters are funny in their own way, be it the way they look, the way they talk or behave, or the situations they find themselves in.

  • Remember that there are many types of humor. Your characters can be sarcastic, goofy, observant, etc.
  • The Three Stooges provide a good example of funny characters. Their style of humor was predominantly circus, but much of the humor stems from the personality and quirks of each character, how they react to situations, and mutual interaction.
  • Let the humor of each character emerge from their personality and be consistent with these character traits.
  • Don't worry about crafting the full character background just yet (although you will have to do this once you start the writing process). For now, focus on getting a clear idea in your head of what the character looks like and how he behaves.

Part 2 of 3: Write the Story

Write Funny Stories Step 7
Write Funny Stories Step 7

Step 1. Write an interesting first paragraph

At the end of the first paragraph, many readers will decide whether to continue reading the story or to put it aside. A powerful and interesting beginning is essential if you want readers to continue reading the rest of the story.

  • A good first paragraph should grab the reader's attention and interest.
  • Don't worry about making the beginning funny, because you can insert humor at any time during the review process. Focus on writing a powerful and interesting first paragraph.
  • Try to incorporate something unusual, something unexpected, a shocking action, or an interesting conflict in the first paragraph. This creates tension and a sense of urgency, which will make the reader want to keep reading.
Write Funny Stories Step 8
Write Funny Stories Step 8

Step 2. Incorporate the everyday

Although each person has a certain sense of humor, one thing that many people find funny is the analysis of something common or everyday. Think of the Jerry Seinfeld comedy: he doesn't make three-act jokes, he exposes funny situations that most people haven't realized are funny.

  • The best everyday humor arises from situations that everyone experiences, but that no one comments on. It requires observation and humorous analysis.
  • These ordinary, everyday experiences are great material for comedy, as they are essentially shared experiences. All people have been through the same thing (although not among them), so the reader will understand humor from their own experiences.
  • Try to talk about common situations in a way that makes people laugh and say, "That's very true."
  • A common everyday situation used in comedy is the annoyance of air travel. A comedian can exaggerate the problems of going through security, having to put his shoes back on, waiting hours with foreigners for a delayed flight, etc.
Write Funny Stories Step 9
Write Funny Stories Step 9

Step 3. Develop your characters

Any story, whether fiction or non-fiction, needs well-developed, three-dimensional characters. Don't settle for flat, traditional characters that everyone has seen before. Give your characters some personality and if you write about a person you know, be sure to recreate them by describing their appearance, gestures, and other facets of their personality.

  • You should always know more about a character than what you use in the story. Body the character in your head before you start writing so that you and the reader believe that he or she is real.
  • Think about what makes this character unique. Take into account what he looks like, his hobbies, his temperament, his phobias, his flaws, his strengths, his secrets, his defining moments, his memories, etc.
  • Be sure to convey four main characteristics to your readers: the character's appearance, actions, speech, and thoughts. Any other detail can reinforce these main characteristics, but without them the character can be lifeless for the reader.
Write Funny Stories Step 10
Write Funny Stories Step 10

Step 4. Work on funny anecdotes

Anecdotes are short personal stories that convey something funny or meaningful. The anecdote is the brief personal experience that one tells to friends over coffee or a cocktail. Some of the best anecdotes are concise, forceful, and interesting.

  • Many people believe that humorous stories or anecdotes are funnier than a joke. Jokes can make someone laugh, but they are short-lived and generally less memorable than the true story of some embarrassing or misidentified event.
  • Don't dwell on your own personal anecdotes. Blow up your previous conversations with friends, family, and coworkers and try to incorporate their funny moments.
  • David Sedaris is a great comic writer who uses personal anecdotes as a starting point to discuss the comic (and sometimes tragic) aspects of nature and the human experience. Try reading essays online or pick up one of his many books to get some inspiration and some examples.
Write Funny Stories Step 11
Write Funny Stories Step 11

Step 5. Don't count, show

You've probably heard the old saying "Don't count, show." It means that there is more power and force in describing a situation or in contextualizing the reader than in just telling what happens. For example, instead of using the old line: "It was a dark and stormy night" to tell the reader it was raining outside, you can describe the sound of raindrops hitting your roof, the screeching of your windshield wiper blades. car and the way a bolt of lightning illuminates the hill like daylight.

  • Use specific details that illustrate what you want to say. Instead of telling the reader that the character is sad, show him crying and running away to be alone.
  • Allow the reader to put the scene or event pieces together on their own. This will help the reader to feel your emotions more genuinely.
  • Be specific and use specific descriptions. Avoid the abstract or the intangible and focus on something the reader can imagine, see, hear, touch, or feel.

Part 3 of 3: Revise Your Story to Make It Hilarious

Write Funny Stories Step 12
Write Funny Stories Step 12

Step 1. Try to incorporate humorous descriptions

Descriptions can be hilarious in and of themselves and can also set the stage for a hilarious action sequence. Your comic descriptions can detail two things that normally shouldn't go together, or you can focus on describing the absurd appearance of a person, place, or thing.

  • Find an interesting new way to say something familiar. This can be hilarious and can also keep readers on edge.
  • Try to use adjectives in your descriptions. We reiterate: the approach should be to say something in a way that surprises and pleases the reader.
  • Many comedians believe that words with a marked "k" (such as "goat" or "cheese") just sound funnier. The same goes for words with a marked “g” (like “guacamole” or “gárrulo”).
Write Funny Stories Step 13
Write Funny Stories Step 13

Step 2. Write funny comparisons

A good comic comparison should describe how two things are related, but it can be done in a funny or unexpected way. A comparison joke should still say what you want to say, but do it in a way that makes the reader laugh.

  • Use similes and metaphors that evoke familiar images. For example, you might say something like this: “Surviving this week will be as easy as painting an elephant's toenails. I hope to get out alive”.
  • A simile is a comparison that uses "like." An example of a simile might be: "Your love is like a flower."
  • A metaphor is a comparison that describes something as if it were something else. An example of a metaphor might be: "My heart is a drum that beats."
  • A humorous comparison might be: "He danced like a horse drunk on wine, but still he was a better dance partner than me."
  • Try different comparisons until you find one that is effective and makes you laugh, then try it on someone to see if they find it funny.
Write Funny Stories Step 14
Write Funny Stories Step 14

Step 3. Make fun of yourself

If you write about how everyone in your family or in your work environment is stupid and ugly, your readers will probably think that you are cruel and unfairly critical. However, if you make yourself the center of your jokes, your readers will understand that you are exaggerating or criticizing yourself for comic effect and they will not think that you are cruel or judgmental.

  • It's okay to make fun of those close to you (friends, family, etc.). However, if you only make fun of them without making fun of yourself, you can come across as cruel or arrogant.
  • Worrying about offending others can limit your comedy. Making fun of yourself lets readers know that it's okay to laugh with you, as no one else is the butt of your jokes unfairly.
  • Talk about personal experiences, things that happened to your friends, family, or coworkers, and any other aspect of your life that resulted in funny stories. Just make sure you make fun of yourself too, at least as long as you make fun of others.
Write Funny Stories Step 15
Write Funny Stories Step 15

Step 4. Never tell a reader that something is funny

You shouldn't tell a joke and then explain, "It was supposed to be funny." At least you wouldn't have to explain it if your audience thought it's funny. The same applies when writing a funny story. If you have to tell readers that something is funny, then the joke is probably not funny.

  • Let the readers discover the humor of the situation on their own. That will lead to stronger storytelling and allow readers to understand your jokes better.
  • This is related to the rule "Don't count, show." Just as you showed the reader a setting or a character with a skillful description, you should also show the reader the funny description or the sequence of action without saying that it was something funny.
Write Funny Stories Step 16
Write Funny Stories Step 16

Step 5. Remember the rule of three

Much written comedy depends on adjusting the reader's expectations (perhaps, for example, by setting patterns) and then altering those expectations. The reader will find that the story does not continue in the way they expected, often with comical results. One way to achieve this type of comic result is by using the rule of three.

  • The rule of three consists of matching two ideas, two events or two similar people so that the reader recognizes the formation of a pattern.
  • Once the reader expects the pattern to continue, you must present a third idea, circumstance, or person that goes in a direction the reader did not expect.
  • This works best with groups of three because it is low enough for most people to remember each item, but also enough items for the reader to see a pattern and wait for it to continue.
  • As an example of the rule of three, you can say, for example: “I don't know what is wrong with my dog, I have taken him to be trained, I have learned how to discipline him, but he still hasn't helped me meet someone in the park.”.
Write Funny Stories Step 17
Write Funny Stories Step 17

Step 6. Practice using the rhythm of the comedy

The rhythm of comedy can mean setting a series of events to unfold at a certain time and place, but it can also mean letting a joke, a funny phrase or word, or a punchline unfold in a humorous way. It's all about how you present and craft the joke or story.

  • The rhythm of the comedy can have an element of surprise, distraction, or just create suspense so that you can say a funny line at the best possible moment.
  • An example of comedy pacing might be: "This dating tip always works and will drive your partner crazy … except when it fails."
Write Funny Stories Step 18
Write Funny Stories Step 18

Step 7. Don't overdo it with humor

If you are writing comedy for the first time, you may be tempted to write as many jokes, funny descriptions, and humorous situations as possible. But, sometimes, too many comic elements can be excessive and end up detracting from the story. Balance the humor and make sure it's relevant and that it serves the story (rather than the story serving the humor).

  • Don't lose focus of what the story is really about. It can be a very funny story, but first it must be a very well written story.
  • Try to limit the use of humor throughout the story. In this way, by presenting a funny line well, it will be memorable and exceptionally funny.
Write Funny Stories Step 19
Write Funny Stories Step 19

Step 8. Edit your story

As you make revisions, such as inserting more comic lines (or reducing comic elements), remember to do a thorough edit. Editing a story like this requires checking each line for spelling errors, unpunctuated sentences, sentence fragments, weak descriptions, clichés, and other problems in the manuscript.

  • It may be helpful to put the story aside for a few days before editing and reviewing it. By reviewing your story with fresh eyes, you'll have a better chance of finding the mistakes you didn't notice before.
  • Consider asking a friend to read your story and give you their opinion. You should also ask your friend to circle or underline misspellings, grammatical or syntactic errors, and weak or unresolved segments of the argument.


  • Consider writing a parody. Parodies can be hilarious and may be easier to write, since you'll start with an existing plot.
  • Make your story unpredictable. Always try to predict your readers' expectations and come up with something completely unexpected.
  • Remember that ideas don't come by themselves. You must be patient and find your own inspiration.
  • Make sure your story makes sense and that the story problem is solved (if there is one). Focus on writing a good story first and making it funny after checking to see if it is a good story.


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