Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
on 1 December 2010
As a relative newcomer to stand up comedy, I've always struggled to write material. Fellow comics have always explained that good gags are mostly the product of hard work; but when you're looking at a blank page, even if you have a few basic ideas, where do you begin?
Other books, of a similar ilk fall short because they are too focused on the way the author's mind works, which isn't necessarily the same as the reader.
Sally Holloway is different, she defines a series of joke mining processes, to find and develop your material. She has a troubleshooting section at the end of each process, that's easy to relate to.
Every other chapter, she points out typical writing challenges faced by her and other comics. So you don't give up just because your beautifully crafted gag, hasn't appeared after half an hours work.
This is someone who has not only performed stand up comedy but more importantly has literally years of experience teaching the art of writing comedy material. As you explore each technique, you can watch the thought process as she cleverly weaves in transcripts from one of her courses. This can at times be a little tedious, however if it's not relevent it's easy to skip to the next section, without feeling you've missed anything.
So, would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. For me it's the best joke writing book I have ever read; but be warned, once you get started, you'll find yourself waking in the night, desperate to get all the ideas popping into your head down on paper.