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The Deer on a Bicycle: Excursions into the Writing of Humor

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For his fourteenth book, Patrick McManus lets us inside the laughs. This guide, by one of the world's best-known and respected humorists, is an insightful and entertaining book for anyone who writes humor or who has ever wanted to.
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Overview

For his fourteenth book, Patrick McManus lets us inside the laughs. This guide, by one of the world's best-known and respected humorists, is an insightful and entertaining book for anyone who writes humor or who has ever wanted to.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910055628
  • Publisher: Eastern Washington University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
My Life and Weird Times, or How I Became a Writer of Humor 7
Newton's Questions
What do you mean by "indirection" in a story? 19
Why write for magazines? 22
How do I know where to send my manuscript? 23
How did your first book get published? 27
Why do you give your characters and places such odd names? 29
Can one learn to see funny? 30
Got any deep philosophical thoughts about humor? 32
What do you believe is the ultimate in a prose style? 34
Is it scary to be a writer? 36
Short humor. What is it and who cares? 37
Do you have any rules for writing humor? 40
How do book advanced and royalties work? 49
Does a first-book author need an agent? 51
How come your characters are always yakking away at each other? 53
Can you define "humor?" 58
Is pain funny? 60
What about timing, anticipation and surprise in the writing of comedy? 63
What's the highest high in writing? The lowest low? 66
What is slapstick? 69
Stories with Commentaries
"A Good Deed Goes Wrong" 73
"The Deer on a Bicycle" 84
"The Big Trip" 90
"Sequences" 103
"As the Ear is Bent" 110
"Wild Life in a Room with a View" 115
"The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw" 130
"Muldoon in Love" 140
"Mean Tents" 150
"The Two-Wheeled ATV" 162
"Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing" 169
"The Boy" 177
Humorists I've Liked and Learned From 185
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2000

    Another excellent read by McManus

    I became a McManus fan after reading his short story, 'The Boy.' This compilation includes several good stories, as well as advice to writers in general, and short story writers in particular. Thoroughly enjoying!

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