You can get a PDF of my workshop powerpoint here:

How to write romantic comedy Janet Elizabeth Henderson workshop rwnz 2018

If you want to work on your dialogue, a good place to start is Billy Mernit’s Writing the Romantic Comedy. For Physical comedy, study the way Janet Evanovich structures her scenes in One For The Money. For Joke structure, Comedy writing secrets by Mark Shatz.

Thanks for attending my workshop!


p.s. One thing I didn’t put in the presentation, but said at the conference: If the humor you use in your book puts the reader in a position of superiority when they see misfortune happen to your characters, it turns the reader into a “mean girl.”  This can leave them with an unpleasant reading taste in their mouths when they’re done. As in, they leave your books, feeling bad about themselves and your story.

Example: You fell down a hole and broke your leg, that’s so funny. How dumb are you?

Alternatively, if you write your humor from a position of identification, it increases the empathy your readers have for your characters and pulls them deeper into the book. This is a gentler approach, but I think it works much better with the overall aims of romantic comedy.

Example: You fell down a hole and broke your leg, you poor thing. I would have done exactly the same thing!