rhonda hall pictHow do you write comedy? It’s hard to say, but there are certain rules that can help. Similarly, if you are not writing comedy and something isn’t working, consider the Rule of Three.
Wikipedia describes the Rule of Three as:
A writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things.

The Rule of three often creates a progression in which tension is created, built up, and finally released.
I believe, this may stem from the root of our core, The Holy Trinity, The Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Other examples include: Three Blind Mice, The Three Little Pigs, and the Three Amigos. The Three Stooges, The Three Wise Men and Snap, Crackle Pop.
Here’s an example from one of my favorite books, Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.

The main character, Will, a child, just barely escapes death after a train runs over him. (He ducked.)

By the time I got it loose, the clickety-clacks were plain as day and getting louder, louder, LOUDER!
And then it was “Thank you, Lord, thank you, God, thank you, sir…”
Boy howdy, boy howdy, boy howdy!
Still and all, that was what kept reminding me, I wasn’t dead.
But boy howdy, I was alive! Thank you, Jesus.
If you look at each sentence…. louder, louder, LOUDER! What if she had used two?
“By the time I got it loose, the clickety-clacks were plain as day and getter louder, LOUDER!” Doesn’t have the same emotional impact. Or the next sentence, if we used four.
And then it was “Thank you, Lord, thank you, God, thank you, sir, thank you, Jesus… It not only takes away from the sentence, and it’s not as funny.

Boy howdy, boy howdy, boy howdy, boy howdy! Four is redundant. There is a beat to three, not four.

Then she wraps it up by incorporating the entire paragraph.
But boy howdy, (one) I was alive! (two) Thank you, Jesus. (three)
In the movie, The Great Escape. Three characters taste their potato moonshine.

Steve McQueen delivers a surprising “Wow,”

James Garner delivers his affirming, “Wow,”

and Jud Taylor delivers an exasperated, “Wow.”
The scene is repeated when they drink a sample rather than just taste it.

There are countless examples, but I’ve only listed some. If you are trying to write comedy, avoid going overboard and stick to three. If you are not writing comedy, use the rule of three to create tension, build it up and then release it.
Visit Rhonda M. Hall  http://rhondamhall.wordpress.com/

NWG Fall Conference

fall con pict for blog2014 Fall Conference: proved a big success with its stellar collection of talent and information. The beautiful location of The Olde Glory Theatre and Community Center, Seward, Nebraska, gave our readers a stage to present their writing works on Friday night and a separate auditorium for speaker sessions Saturday.
Fifty-five people attended, including three registrants at the door. Thirteen people pitched to Whiskey Creek Press and thirteen to Wee Creek Press. We extend good luck wishes to those receiving requests for manuscripts.

And Our Presenters:
Steven Womack, Wee Creek Press, shared his knowledge and humor about publishing in today’s world.
Natalie Pao with Start Publishing, an independent New York company focusing on digital publishing, presented the process a manuscript travels and the differences in publishing print and electronic.
NYT bestselling author, Tosca Lee, led us through the reasons we find characters unforgettable and how to write them that way.
Tamsen Butler showed us what a group of talented actors we have in NWG…by letting us make fun of ourselves while we learned how writing for actors coincides with our writing choices.
Additionally, NWG’s own Nanette Day gave us the tools to get the most out of Word Press while constructing our websitesbooks fall conference 2014.

The NWG Business Meeting:
Doug Sasse announced the speaker lineup for 2015 Spring Conference. That’ll be April 10th and 11th at Mahoney State Park. Our spring lineup includes, Michael Carr of Veritas Literary Agency, Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency, Tim Grahl, President of Out:Think, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, editor/Scriptmag.com and Lee Jessup, Screenwriting Coach. For the price, Spring Conference 2015 will be fantastic bargain and a major event for Nebraska Writers Guild. Watch our website for details.
NWG Fall Conference 2014:
With its wealth of useful information, record attendance, two pitch sessions and delicious food from Spare Time Lounge, gave attendees the opportunity to connect with other writers and useful skills to build their writing careers.
A big thank you goes out to the organizers who worked so hard to make this event a great one.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: