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How To Make Money Writing As An Internet Comedy Writer
Get Your Writing Crap Together
You've heard it a thousand times, but, if you think about it. It makes sense. The old adage: “If you're going to write...'write right'." Okay, maybe you didn't hear it quite like that, but, it's true. Proper grammar used to build well constructed sentences are the keystone in any form of writing, even comedy. Albeit, the internet has allowed for a slip in the quality and adherence to grammatical rules, it's still very important. All in all, the greatest joke in the world, if written poorly, doesn't work.
Generally, if you're going to write—anything, do it in a coherent, intelligible fashion. Writing with correct grammar and spelling is priority one in the writing game –in any writing game. It demonstrates respect for the craft and the reader. If anything...it's the difference between “Knowing your crap.” and “Knowing you're crap.”
An invaluable resource in this regard is a book titled “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk and E.B. White. Writers have been using it to improve their writing for ages. Reading it and incorporating what it sets out is sure to improve yours.
Read...a lot of crap.
When trying to write comedic material, being funny isn't enough. You need information to play with and make fun of. Stand up comics often use elements of their own lives as fodder for jokes. More times than not, they use...every thing else [music, t.v., books, blogs, magazines, etc] too.
The same information consumption that a stand up would use, can also be applied to comedic writing. Only, when you write on the internet, you need twice as much. Seriously.
Reading would seem like,kind of a no brainer. Yet, some would be comedy writers fail to see how it helps them with their writing.
In actuality, reading is a HUGE prerequisite to producing quality material.
It allows you to:
- Check out your competition
- Get ideas (steal ideas)
- Clean up your writing (by comparison against better writing)
- It helps you find your style.
Style, being what sets you apart, from every other would be funny man with a keyboard and an internet connection.
Write...a LOT of crap.
While reading a lot plays a part, it's good to write a lot too. I'm talking, everyday. Writing is the surest way to get better at writing. Who would have seen that coming? It's part of the whole "practice makes perfect" motif.
By constantly producing content:
- You build a rhythm and flow to your writing.
- Your ability to create more content, more jokes, more ideas becomes easier.
- It allows you to incorporate changes, elaborate easier and iron out grammatical problems too.
Writing, all the time, helps to find your all elusive “voice” (the style of writing that's YOUR style of writing).
Again, practice makes perfect, so they say and never more so that for a writer. Writing a lot will help to identify commonly made mistakes, help develop a good writing “flow”, increase your proficiency and production. All of which are a remedy for a fruitful career in any writing venue.
Know Who You're Writing For
Have you ever tried to explain a political joke to a 6 year old? There's no way that's happening. The same is true for audiences. If you're a political satirist, college kids that are into beer and fart jokes probably aren't going to like your stuff. Knowing the type of person you're writing for is paramount to success.
Writing comedy, especially internet comedy, is rough. There are thousands, literally thousands of would be writers vying for the disparaging money that writing internet comedy provides. They, of course, are all trying to capture and keep an audience. This means the competition is fierce.
The writers that win out are those that deliver quality, well written content and recognize what their readers sense of humor reacts to. Sure, it sounds like pandering, but, over time a writer can build a loyal following, that will change with the writer's style.
Prepare For The Hate
Prepare to be told you suck...a lot. The internet can be a harsh mistress. Especially when it comes to rude and blatantly mean commentators. The internet has given everyone a voice. As it happens, they use that voice to critique others.
Preparing to be told that what you're writing isn't (funny/smart/original/etc.) can be a hard pill to swallow, for a lot of writers. They take it as personal affronts to their very being. It isn't, of course, because the people commenting rarely know the writer in person.
You can't take comments personally. It's best to simply sue commentary as a learning tool. If the criticism mentions a way to improve your writing, use it or if it mentions a glaring problem with your writing, use that too. Ignore commentary that is blatantly mean and empty [eg. “You suck!”, “This is lame.”, “Stupid!”, etc.]. Comments like those should be disregarded and not taken personally.
Writing comedy on the internet, isn't easy, but, it can be lucrative and fun. These are but a few of the common points writers tend to over look when they try to do it. Take some time to get your writing and material up to snuff and the road to comedic internet fame, money and glory won't be far away.