Humor: Eternal Sources of Funny with Andy Mozina
Writing humor is darn near impossible and should not be attempted. Nevertheless, we’ll study comedy in fiction, creative nonfiction, and, dang it, even a little bit of poetry. We’ll springboard from prompts that will help you generate new funny writing or enhance existing drafts. Using examples from the work of such irrepressible jokesters as Nikolai Gogol, Colson Whitehead, Monica McFawn, Lorrie Moore, George Saunders, Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, Samantha Irby, Tenaya Darlington, and James Tate, we’ll analyze several classic scenarios (the surrealistic problem, acting way against type, jesting ‘round the gallows, etc.) and consider risible micro-moves (defamiliarization, the wacky comparison, irony, etc.). Then we’ll examine how to go from gut-splitting premise, to a plot or other forms of forward movement. Finally, we’ll explore how to balance humor with pathos and meaning. Whether you want to spice serious work with humor, go whole hog into comedic writing, or perfect your funny-sad blend, you’ll leave with new pages and new techniques.