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Sally Holloway, Author: Joke Writing (Serious Guide to)

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Running Before The Midnight Bell
Running Before The Midnight Bell
Price: 1.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a burnt down pier and the little town of St Leonards on Sea make up this great murder mystery, 5 July 2014
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Transvestism, the Nature of Art, a burnt down pier and the little town of St Leonards on Sea make up this great murder mystery. A lovely read, well written and plotted. I must admit I live in St Leonards and adored the local references but I think someone in Timbuktu would enjoy it too.


Writing for Radio
Writing for Radio
by Shaun MacLoughlin
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good insider's view of radio production., 7 Feb 2011
This review is from: Writing for Radio (Paperback)
This book covers drama, comedy, short stories and features which makes it a broad view of radio writing. The author uses scripts he has produced for the BBC to illustrate points. Most useful though are the lists of websites and contacts and chapter, `From Script to Production' which gives a behind the scenes look at radio production.
Mr Macloughlin has good ideas and really knows his subject but there are no exercises or lessons for readers to try apart from to try and emulate the examples he give. As readers of my other reviews might know this is my pet-hate in books that purport to be `how to' books. I do still highly recommend this book for the novices to the craft of writing for radio.


Writing Comedy (Writing Handbooks)
Writing Comedy (Writing Handbooks)

4.0 out of 5 stars Good on selling work rather than writing it, 25 Jan 2011
When I teach I recommend this book to people who are thinking of writing for others. It has a wealth of information and advice from the author on selling your comedy writing and you get the sense that John Byne has really done it and knows what it's like to be a jobbing writer.
As for the rest of it was very basic on the actual comedy writing front, the low point being where he explains that `it' is frequently used to stand in for the sexual act !! Although I thought he explained brain storming well, so the novice writer would find that very useful.


Attitude - wanna make something of it? : The Secret of Stand-Up Comedy
Attitude - wanna make something of it? : The Secret of Stand-Up Comedy
by Tony Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal history of alternative comedy, 17 Jan 2011
If you've ever sat with a beer, late at night after a gig deconstructing comedy you will see yourself in this book. It is part memoir, part diary, part treastie on comedy.
As an ex stand-up comic myself I did find some of it interesting as it is mainly a very personal history of alternative comedy told through gig reviews and reminiscences. Impressively some of them slag off other comics, in these days where we're all afraid of upsetting people I was genuinely amused and it does show that if nothing else Tony Allen does have tons of the attitude that he so keenly promotes.
Anyone with an academic interest in the history of the 1980's alternative comedy scene in Britain will love this book.


Writing Comedy
Writing Comedy
by Ronald Wolfe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid foundation in traditional sitcom writing, 5 Jan 2011
This review is from: Writing Comedy (Paperback)
The main bulk it this book really about writing sitcoms and covers everything from basic ideas (and his good suggestion that you should learn to write sketches first), dealing with a studio audience and even selling your script in Hollywood. The author walks through an episode of `On the Busses' talking about how they wrote it showing that humour comes from the characters attitude and the situation they're in rather than actual joke writing (as a joke writing teacher this stuff interests me.) I know other reviewers have said that it's old fashioned (it was written nearly 20 years ago) but I think it's a solid foundation in traditional sitcom writing and even if you're writing something set in space in 2130 it will never go out of style. I really enjoyed this book, it was kind of aspirational too, shows you what it's like to be a sitcom writer and helps you dream.


The Everything Guide to Comedy Writing: From Stand-up to Sketch - All You Need to be a Success in the World of Comedy (Everything (Language & Writing))
The Everything Guide to Comedy Writing: From Stand-up to Sketch - All You Need to be a Success in the World of Comedy (Everything (Language & Writing))
by Mike Bent
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for observational comedy, 26 Dec 2010
I think if you want to write observational stand-up comedy this book is not a bad way to start. It has lists of things for you to write in your note book when you are say, in a waiting room (which is the example he uses), lots of questions for you to ask about any situation, and lists of things for you to contrast. It doesn't tell you how to write jokes, (the author doesn't believe you can teach people to be funny) but it does try and guide you in how to look at things differently. Hence the observational nature of the material you might produce. I think it might have started out as a book about stand-up rather than writing comedy because there chapters on becoming a stand-up and even on dealing with hecklers, and interviews with stand-ups in every chapter, yet only one chapter on writing sit-coms and one on movies - that both bizarrely include interviews with stand-ups with nothing to do with the rest of the chapter. It is a tad general but like I said, if you want to write observational comedy it has an interesting approach.


Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-up Comedy
Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-up Comedy
by Franklyn Ajaye
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Curl up in bed with this one..., 19 Dec 2010
This is a lovely book that mines the lives and minds some very impressive American comedians including Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock (my favourites). I think the title `insights' is right, because the practical section is very short. There are seven pages on `first steps in comedy', eight pages on `writing material' and excitingly seven pages on `doing television talk shows'.
I think this is a book for comics to curl up in bed with and dream that their heroes are on conversation with them, egging them on and giving them tips about stand-up.


Be a Great Stand-Up: Teach Yourself
Be a Great Stand-Up: Teach Yourself
by Logan Murray
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with practical advice and creativity exercises..., 14 Dec 2010
Logan Murray loves stand-up comedy, he loves the whole concept of it, he's made his living at it for over 20 years and he loves teaching it. All this comes across in this inspiring book. It's packed with advice for the new comic and is a complete guide to becoming a stand-up. It has loads of impro exercises that are particularly good for groups but there's quite a few writing exercises you can do on your own. These really get your creative juices flowing. I teach comedy myself and this is the book my student's like best.


How to be a Comedy Writer
How to be a Comedy Writer
by Marc Blake
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An 'overview' rather than a 'how to'., 14 Dec 2010
You can't tell from the picture but this book is literally tiny. 6" x 4.5" to be exact. But it bravely tries to cover every kind of comedy writing including character comedy, comedy plays, comedy drama, stand-up, sketches, radio comedy, TV comedy, screenplays, comedy novels, joke books. There's even half a page on topical jokes. This does of course mean it's a bit vague about how to actually write and just tells you might be able to do if you have written something. If you want a romp through potential outlets comic writing this is for you.


The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not
The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not
by John Vorhaus
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Academic approach to writing, 9 Dec 2010
Mr. Vorhaus's real tool (if you'll excuse the expression) is that he's very good at analysis. This book does a broad sweep of some classic old sitcoms and screen plays or `telling of stories' as he puts it. He analyses what's been done and then says to the reader `now you do that.' I know from teaching joke writing myself that some students need more than that, hence the mixed reviews. An interesting book but his approach is academic and the tools are a bit vague.


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