Storytelling is a powerful technique that builds momentum within a set. This is what makes storytelling so important when you’re learning how to write stand-up comedy. Effective stories hold the audience’s attention, create a slight amount of tension, and build towards the punch line. Finding a story you love to tell friends and performing it on stage is an effective way of learning how to write stand-up comedy. You’ve already “performed” for your friends, many times it’s the easiest (and safest) starting point for new comedians who want to learn how to write stand-up comedy.
How to Write Stand-Up Comedy With Storytelling
Naturally, you’ll want to begin learning how to write stand-up comedy stories by starting with a story you already tell people. Think of a story or a topic that you can’t wait to be brought up by a friend or new acquaintance. Maybe they mention that they want to skydive and it instantly reminds you of a story you’ve told many people before about your own skydiving experience. Whatever the topic, find a story you’re already passionate about. This story will be the framework for learning how to write stand-up comedy stories.
Next, you’ll want to identify the most important aspects of that story. What would you say if you only had 5 minutes to tell the story? 2 minutes? Only 1 minute? This question will help you identify the most important information of your story. Likely, these points of the story will either be the funniest or necessary chronologically (the story won’t make sense until you introduce it).
The last step of learning how to write stand-up comedy stories is to splice the unimportant parts of the story out and take the material that’s left and form it into a story that still makes sense. Be careful not to edit out too much information or you’ll leave out information that’s important for the setup or overall story. What you’re really doing in the last step is filling in the gaps that you just created and leaving a story that makes sense and only includes the best parts of the story.