My favorite advice from teachers of stand-up comedy and storytelling on YouTube

  1. Write about what you know
  2. Serious, serious, silly
  3. Address your appearance early on
  4. Likability = confidence + humility
  5. Try to make the ordinary extraordinary
  6. Play with timelines
  7. Take two dissimilar ideas and saying they’re similar; use analogies
  8. Know the rules before you break the rules
  9. Create intrigue; consider a preamble
  10. Answer side questions to continue with the story
  11. Get attention before your story
  12. Commit to your stories with characters e.g. body language, voices
  13. Experiment; when something gets laughs, try to reuse it
  14. Notice how and why you tend to lose people in stories
  15. Intrigue people right away with uncommon or irregular anecdotes

Exercises

  1. Write down everything in a list: people, places, things, words, phrases, cliches, events
  2. Outline stories

Sources

  1. Stand-Up 101: The Fundamentals, Laughing SkullTV, YouTube
  2. Bill Burr’s Comedy Writing Secrets (Feat. The Joke Doctor), Hot Breath! Comedy Network, YouTube
  3. 3 Tips to Instantly Tell Better Stories, Charisma on Command, YouTube
  4. Ricky Gervais Tells a Story About How He Leared To Write, Fast Company, YouTube
  5. How to Write a Short Story | Writing a Good Short Story Step-by-Step, Self Publishing School, YouTube

Storyteller, self-taught software engineer, and experimental hobbyist. Working @ Facebook Open Source, Seattle. she/her 🏳️‍🌈