This page explains how and why you should be funny, not stupid. It is an adaptation of Uncyclopedia's How To Be Funny And Not Just Stupid guide.
- Truth is usually funnier than nonsense.
Basic humor techniquesEdit
- Repetition: This one is stupid, but it works. Say something over and over, and then repeat it, and then say it some more. Two or three times. Example: Michael Dawson spends most of his time: building a raft, looking for his son, building another raft, sailing, looking for his son, shooting Tailies, and looking for his son. Other times, it just makes the joke dead, so please be careful, cautious, and vigilant if you decide to use this technique. And also be cautious.
- Misdirection: A little more sophisticated and witty than repetition. Appear to go one direction with your writing, but end up in a completely different place. For instance: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
- Escalation: The key to the absurd style, but all around a good technique. Start out reasonable and sensible, then become increasingly extreme, irrational, and absurd. Example: Some fans believe Jacob to be Locke, an older Jack, Ms. Hawking, or Vincent. Starting out absurd and staying that way is rarely funny. Absurdity can be funny, but it helps to work up to it from a serious- or at least, less-absurd- starting point. This is true whether you're dealing with a single sentence or a whole article.
- Understatement: For instance, "a few people died in the crash of Flight 815". Writing "OMG Smokey pwns mercs!" is not as funny as taking a more understated approach such as "The Smoke Monster had a slight advantage when he battled the mercenaries".
- Circularity: For an example, see Being Circular.
- Being Circular: For an example, see Circularity. (again, this is a dumb but effective technique, if it isn't overused).
- Be serious about silly things and vice versa: For example, an article about the correlating trajectories between Juliet's dropped muffins and the crash of Flight 815.
- Write in a Consistent Style: Jooppedia uses a lot of different styles. Ensure that the same sentence style, humour, and intention is the same throughout the article.
- Be sure to check existing articles: Nothing is worse than writing a brilliantly clever piece only to find that the person or object in question is portrayed completely differently on numerous other pages. Research for a moment before adding. Of course, this inconsistency might stand on its own, but it's good to know that you're not plotzing up any large "sagas".
- Make cross/meta-references. Mix series stuff with the fan community. Example: Ben killed Locke for spoiling Ms. Hawking's first name.
- This is Jooppedia, not Lostpedia: We're not writing "the Truth" (or "Neutral Point of View") here, so the important thing is whether a given individual article is entertaining/interesting in its own right, on a stand-alone, individual basis. In fact, it can be great to have, across different articles within a topic area, a different viewpoint in each article. It keeps the creative juices going for the introduction of fresh ideas and a variety of perspectives and approaches. As well, what's entertaining can vary from reader to reader. Maybe a reader who wouldn't find the first viewpoint on a topic area as expressed in Article 1 funny might find the second or subsequent viewpoints on that topic area in Articles 2, 3, etc. funny. Also, if you try to keep to one storyline across articles just for the sake of consistency, there's the possibility that some of the various linking articles in the series may become boring, unfunny articles that aren't interesting on an individual-article basis; instead of the linking articles, consider giving these details within the main article itself.
- If you spent ten seconds writing it, perhaps ten people will like it. If you spent ten minutes, you might have hundreds: Even though we're full of lies, the amount of work necessary to write a funny article may be on par with Lostpedia. The quality of our articles varies, but as a parody, it doesn't mean our quality standard should drop, just that our content is different.
- Watch the show: A good chunk of stuff on here is random, and random can be funny. But the truly great articles require a bit of research. In order to effectively parody or satirize a subject, do some research on the real thing first, and your jokes will be better and actually make sense.
- Delete, delete, delete: More writing is more funny, right? Not necessarily. There's a reason why it's possible to make a living as an editor, a person whose job is mainly to delete prose and throw manuscripts in the trash: most writing is bad. Good writers understand this, and spend as much time mercilessly hacking their work apart as they do creating it in the first place, even throwing away completed novels to start from scratch. The ability to look at your own work, ask, "does this suck?" and answer honestly is one of the major differences between the pros and amateurs. Writing is as much about destruction as creation, so spend at least as much time editing as writing. Another way to think about it: writing is like cooking, it's as much about what you leave out as what you put in. When cooking a soup, you do everything possible not to put crap into it, shouldn't you do the same when you write?
- Revise, revise, revise: Maybe you misspelled a word, perhaps you thought of a clever joke, or a Photoshopped jpg to ice that cake. To create a really polished piece of work, you have to revisit it and smooth off all the imperfections. True, some people can hammer out a perfect first draft, but most people can't. Even Darlton devote time to revising and polishing.
Being Crass or Tasteless does not equal Automatic LolzEdit
- There's no reason to swear like a US Marine Drill Instructor or make tasteless references every other sentence: In many lame formula jokes, crassness and/or profanity are/is the "punchline." It's usually not funny, especially if you're hung over the next day and looking over your article. Only in very few, very rare situations is crassness what makes a funny joke funny. Please don't use it as your primary source of humor. This includes those regurgitated dead baby jokes, as well as jokes about regurgitated, dead babies. Come up with something original, or at least put it in an original manner, rather than rely on shock factor as a fucking crutch.
- Not everyone likes scatological, or "toilet" humor. In fact, many people simply find it immature and disgusting, and may not only start avoiding your articles, but Jooppedia as a whole. Just because you find the thought of Locke defecating and Sawyer farting hilarious doesn't mean that others do.
- Not everyone likes obscene, or explicit humor: In fact, some people may find it annoying, and may not only start avoiding your articles, but Jooppedia as a whole. Just because you find explicit references to anatomy hilarious doesn't mean that others do. Try to use humor which actually relates to the topic of the article, not humor which is meant to shock simply through its explicitness and utter unrelatedness to the topic.
- Gay jokes: There are very limited applications for humorous gay jokes. It may be appropriate for Tom, Arturo, or some sort of slash pairing, but don't overdo it.
Avoid cliches (most of the time)Edit
- Many uninventive definitions follow overused formulas.
- If a joke immediately pops into your head after three seconds' worth of pondering, assume it will occur to many, many people as well, and a large fraction of them will probably make it in other pages. Result: unfunny repetition.
- When using a number, it doesn't necessarily HAVE to be one of the numbers.
- Ridiculous dates simply serve to confuse the reader; they don't make your article funny: Remember: you want the reader to actually read your article, not just look at it, decide that it is nonsense or incoherent, and leave. Unless your article is about time travel, you're not going to make someone laugh by choosing ridiculous dates; you'll just make them stop reading.
- Use them sparingly.
- Just 'cause it's funny to you and three of your friends doesn't make it funny to us: Most in-jokes are "had to be there" moments, or rely on several other situations/experiences to understand exactly what makes it funny. They're hard to explain, and fail to be humorous in a stand-alone situation. This does not apply, however, to in-jokes that a whole Lost fansite is in on (unless you have <10 members).
- And while we're here, don't be vain. Articles written about your fanfic, or your story characters, or your goddamn story setting, WILL be deleted as a rule. So will articles about how much your favourite forum now sucks, or your own Lost forum that you started and it's only you and your friend from Poland on the members list, and you ban anyone else who joins and disagrees with your theories. If you are going to make an article about something of your own, that is if you have a BURNING, UNQUENCHABLE DESIRE to do so (this is not everyone), do a good job on it. Make it fit in here - if something seems out of place it's goin' bye-bye.
- A picture is a perfect complement to a good joke. But only if it is well made. Hacking up a Jackface in MS Paint is not well made (unless you're making the picture look bad for a satirical purpose). Taking time on the picture and using a professional program such as the GIMP or Photoshop to make it is advisable, although some of you will be able to knock up decent images on Paint.
- Don't think that a 'shopped picture is absolutely necessary. Take a normal screencap that otherwise would have no comedy value, put it into the context of your article, and add a funny caption, and suddenly your boring old promo shot is hilarious.
Bias and sarcasmEdit
- Never substitute bias in place of humor. While biases and points of view are allowed, often to the extent of encouragement, on Jooppedia, simply writing something like "Locke is an idiot and I'm glad he died" is not funny by itself. Instead, explain, in lavish detail, what makes these things so great or terrible. Remember, you aren't the only person on this planet. Try to keep your stuff funny, but not insulting.
- Also note that that when an admin deletes overt, explicit bias, he or she does not necessarily disagree with you on that subject. It is rarely personal. He or she is responsible for keeping additions streamlined and in the spirit of the rest of the article, as well as Jooppedia.
- Not everyone on the planet is male. Therefore, there are some people who don't think that Kate and Shannon making out would be the greatest thing ever.
- Not everyone on the planet is female. Therefore, there are some people who don't think that Jack and Sawyer misplacing their pants and suddenly needing a back massage would be the greatest thing ever.
- Never substitute sarcasm in the place of humor. Basically, blunt, straight sarcasm is not humorous, especially when other people do it better as satire.
- Remember the nonsense rule. If something is coherent, and closer to the truth, it is funnier than pure nonsense.
- Often, official, professional-sounding prose kicks the humor up a bit. Consider your tone as you write articles. Would an authoritarian, encyclopedic tone make this even better, or would slack-jawed drivel work best as its own sort of irony? Do outbursts work? Try different styles to see if it improves your content.
- Speeling adn, gramor?: Unless you're misspelling words on purpose, as one would in order to poke fun at trolls or poor fan fic, really, really try to make sure all your words are spelled correctly, and that all your grammar makes sense. Copy and paste your article into MS Word, if it helps. IM abbreviations are also something to generally avoid.