Writing Comedy Dialogue

Comedy is easy to judge, people either think its and funny and laugh or do not find humorous and do not laugh. While that factor may be easy, actually creating funny lines is a hard and involved process. Humorous content is created for the masses everyday, but the writing behind it takes a lot of work and is not for everyone. Creating dialogue itself can be done multiple ways, but editing is the key to refining and making the funniest lines possible.

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Read television and movie scripts. Many are available for free online like at Drew’s Script’O’Rama and this should be the first step to creating your own dialogue. Study how dialogue is written for different types of comedies, like sitcoms, romantic comedies, and straight out comedies. Focus on the type of comedy you writing to get even more insight into the dialogue.

Work on character voices. Character voices are essential for script readers, because something one person says may come out completely different from another person. For example, if Ross acted like Phoebe for an episode of Friends, fans would be left confused and the jokes may not work as well. Define the characters before writing the dialogue.

Write witty dialogue. This is a classic tool that has worked for years within the comedic world. Use fast responses, sarcastic comments, and unexpected lines to shock and surprise viewers. This area may be your most edited area to help fine tune the dialogue and keep it at a steady pace.

Write literal comedy. This comedy presents confusion between characters and comedic timing is perfect for dialogue here. For example a character may say, “I’m sorry for being a baby”. A funny response would be “Oh, you don’t have to be sorry, we were all babies once”. Then clarify the situation between the two characters through the dialogue.

Write 6 jokes per script page. The normal rule for comedies is 3 jokes per page, but by doubling this amount you will guarantee plenty of jokes and leave room to cut out the bad jokes and leave in the funniest lines. This method also helps develop a style of comedy and editing skills for writing dialogue.

Remember to edit and reedit all of your material. Comedy writing may be one of the hardest concepts to accomplish and this is why so many comedy shows and movies laugh, people want to consistently laugh and enjoy the material they are seeing.