Monday, April 19, 2010

So You Want To Write Humor? (Maybe This Book Will Help)

I don't know Mike Sacks from Adam. But I got a kick out of his book, And Here's the Kicker, which is packed full of advice and interviews from well-known humor writers.

Let's see...I read a little something something from the likes of Dave Barry, and Buck Henry, and David Sedaris, and Allison Silverman, to name just a few. And you can go read a few excerpts for yourself over at the And Here's the Kicker website. Plus, you'll find all kinds of much higher-falutin' folks than me, going on and on about Mike Sacks and his wonderful book.

But you won't find some of my fave parts from the book at Mr. Sack's website. Namely, the Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer. So I hope he won't mind if I share a a few tips with y'all, every so often.

First up, a few words of wisdom from Getting Humor Published in Magazines (Okay, it's self-serving. But come on, y'all. I'm the one who read (most of) the book.)

* Do not try too hard-or even at all-to be funny in the cover letter. Jokes in the story are fine. Jokes in the pitch are not. (Woopsies)

* Writers sometimes talk about the awards they've won. Don't. (Um, woopsies, again.)

* Don't use Mr. or Mrs. (last name of the editor here). Weird. Arcane. (Wow. Now I just feel old. And I'm kinda wondering how I ever sold a single humorous thing. I'm also beginning to understand why I haven't sold all that much.)

Well, there's lots more where those came from (20, to be exact). And when I find the next page, I'll share a few from the second half of the list. As long as it's okay with Mike Sacks. Who I'm sure is a fine fellow who's won many awards (not that he'd ever mention them) for his fine book, And Here's the Kicker.