bring humor to your writing
The best thing about writing humor is that you learn to surprise yourself. Not amuse yourself with your cleverness, because the front of your brain likes to be impressed with itself and ends up being a crashing bore. But to genuinely surprise yourself into a laugh... At first it seems as impossible as tickling yourself. But once you get the hang of it, writing comedy is more fun than a carnival ride. Sure, like with all writing, there are times of strain and frustration. But the writing, when it happens, is like having a puppy playing with a squeaky toy inside your brain.
I lead general writing workshops for people who are looking to communicate in a professional setting with simplicity and natural ease. My specialty workshops focus on humor, both for stories and for scripts. My history not just as a writer but as a clown, a translator, a choreographer, a performer, and a painter has laid the groundwork for my approach to creative expression.
"Some women illuminate the diverse—and often poorly understood—structures some women use when they write scripts: Susan di Rende from the Broad Humor Festival (I wish she’d write a book) and Linda Seger." – Marian Evans, Wellywood Woman blog
Workshops offered in
The beauty of a screenplay is that you don't have to explain anything. You keep the rules of the game as back story in your head, and then you play with abandon.
The playwright, unlike the screenwriter, controls time. And in comedy, timing is everything.
Plot is the means but character is the purpose. Don't get them reversed or nobody will care about your story, no matter how well-crafted.
NOTE: If you want to know my bona fides, I teach classes for areas in which I have won awards. Not that being able to write is the same thing as to be able to teach. But I've also received multiple teaching awards.
Past bookings include:
- Olympic College, Bremerton, WA
- City of Bremerton, WA
- 19 Tory Street, Wellington, NZ
- Borrego Springs Film Festival, Borrego Springs, CA
- Greater Los Angeles Association of Legal Administrators, Los Angeles, CA
- Broad Humor Film Festival, Venice Beach, CA
- WisCon, Madison, WI
- George Washington University, Washington, DC
- Kyobo Bookstores, Seoul, South Korea
- Donna Discover, Lucca, Italy
Looking for someone to create a custom workshop?
Laughter from Tears
I was 28 and heartbroken. I lamented to my friend, Roberta, that I would miss his sense of humor, how he made me laugh. I sighed over the sad reality that I was not funny at all. Roberta started crowing one of those high, giddy arpeggios you hear when someone is tickled to the bone. She turned to me and said, "Susan, you are the funniest people I know." This surprised me no end. I thought I was intellectual, serious, and a bit on the drippy, sentimental side. Telling Roberta this only made her laugh louder.
Until that day, it hadn't occurred to me that I might be funny, even though I had toured as a clown in a small circus. I had been a silent, sad clown, after all. And there I was, making those same sad clown eyes at Roberta while she laughed with glee. I have tried to live up to that day, to transform my ponderous writing into farce. It turns out they were not so far apart. I slowly found my voice, and it was cranky, contrarian, and unapologetic. However, the greatest benefit of this revelation has not been in my writing but in my life. I laugh a lot these days, regardless of relationship status.