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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2017 > Funny talk

Funny talk

Funny in real life and funny in print are different skills, says Jane Wenham-Jones


For years, people have told me I’m funny and should write a book. Now I have finally made a start, I’m getting very frustrated. My friends have always encouraged me to share anecdotes and appeared to find them highly amusing – but trying to reproduce these in print is a different matter.

For example, I told a gathering in the pub about a funny encounter I’d had in the supermarket and they all roared with laughter. When I wrote it down for the informal writing group I’ve just joined, there were a few polite titters and the suggestion that it didn’t sound very realistic. Even though I had told it exactly as it happened. I tried recording another tale that had gone down well verbally and making an exact transcript. That landed like a lead balloon too. How can I learn to be as hilarious in writing as I thought I was in person?

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