Gay romance fiction

Funny Bones: the structure of comedy

a craft workshop for genre authors

  • Format: available in lengths from one to six hours.
  • Technical requirements: projector/screen if available.


Class Blurb:

FUNNY BONES with Damon Suede

Being funny is a serious business. Even in the darkest books a dash of humor can make your scenes sizzle because audiences love to laugh. Careful comic plotting and characterization can turn “meh” into mesmerizing. Defy gravity! We’ll tackle the ins-n-outs of making folks smile with tips and tricks that will help you find the rib ticklers underneath your romance.

"No one deserves to be punished for loving with an open heart." (Hot Head - D. Suede)

Class Description:

Funny Bones is a craft workshop looking at comic theory and tools for writing humor in all kinds of genre fiction. Covering history, technique, and project planning, this session explores:

  • the mechanics of comedy
  • recipe for a comic beat and humorous rhythm/pacing
  • the power of rhythm and pace
  • comedic characters and the role of jokers in the genre plot, and the possibilities of a comic ensemble
  • Applications of wit and schtick to leaven your manuscript regardless of genre

Though this class operates primarily as a lecture, there are exercises throughout to provoke relevant discussion and experimentation. 


  • A comprehensive theory of humor and the craft of evoking laughter.
  • A dissection of joke construction and humorous beats
  • An analysis of comic characters and the power of ensemble comedy casts
  • Exercises and references to develop your own comic voice.



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"For an endless moment, Runt imagined the crooked corporation had folded and they’d been forgotten, laughing and living together under these perfect suns, waiting for wives that would never come, happily hunting fresh meat at the sharp edge of the galaxy." (Grown Men - D. Suede)

Recommended reading:


  • Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, & Matt Walsh - Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual
  • Greg Dean - Step by Step to Standup Comedy
  • Dan Decker - Anatomy of a Screenplay
  • Larry Gelbart - Laughing Matters
  • Keith Giglio - Writing the Comedy Blockbuster
  • Charna Halpern, Del Close, Kim Johnson - Truth in Comedy: the manual for improvisation
  • David L. Hirst - Comedy of Manners
  • Steve Kaplan - The Hidden Tools of Comedy: the Serious Business of Being Funny
  • David Nihill - Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker
  • Sol Saks - Funny Business: the craft of comedy writing, 2nd edition
  • Athene Seyler - The Craft of Comedy
  •  John Vorhaus - The Comic Toolbox: how to be funny even if you're not


  • Maurice Charney - Comedy High and Low: an introduction to the experience of comedy
  • Albert Cook - The Dark Voyage and the Golden Mean: a philosophy of comedy
  • Robert Corrigan - Comedy, Meaning and Form
  • Jessica Milner Davis - Farce
  • Wes D. Gehring - Romantic vs. Screwball Comedy: charting the difference
  • Walter Kerr - Tragedy & Comedy
  • Harold C. Knutson - The Triumph of Wit: Moliere and Restoration Comedy
  • Harry Levin - Playboys and Killjoys: an essay on the theory and practice of comedy
  • Garry Marshall - Wake Me When It’s Funny
  • Wylie Sypher (ed.) - Comedy: essays by George Meredith & Henri Bergson


  • Maria Aitken - Style: acting in high comedy
  • Stuart E Baker - Georges Feydeau and the Aesthetics of Farce
  • David G. Grote - The End of Comedy: the sitcom and the comedic tradition
  • Doris Milberg - The Art of the Screwball Comedy: madcap entertainment from 1930s to today
  • Mark Rubinfeld - Bound to Bond: gender, genre, and the Hollywood romantic comedy
  • John Rudlin - Commedia Dell'Arte: an actor's handbook

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"No one deserves to be punished for loving with an open heart." (Hot Head - D. Suede)

If you'd like to book Damon to come present a workshop for your group or chapter, just give a holler.