A Very Informational Guide to Writing Your First Satire Piece

So, you’re writing your first satire.

Maybe you have prior experience writing actually substantive literature. Or perhaps you’ve recently realized that the content you consume is all created by actual humans, which makes you just as qualified as anyone else. Whichever the case, it can feel distressing to confront your larval ineptitude head-on without a mentor.

But dear reader, fret no longer! I’m here to tell you precisely how to start writing satire that will shake the world. If you are industrious, talented, and well-connected, then you may have published your first book by nightfall. It just takes five easy steps:

  1. Choose your topic. There’s a neat little algorithm to figuring this out, which I learned today by listening to a smart lady talk about satire: “Write about something you have only a vague idea about.”
    The brilliance of this method is that you will not risk ruining your satire by writing anything substantial. If you’re struggling, ask yourself: “Are there any topics about which I only know one questionable platitude?” Your answer may be your answer.
  2. Do your research. It’s useful to immerse yourself briefly in the world of your topic — but be careful, reader! It’s a delicate balance to sound knowledgeable without stepping into what is commonly known as the No-Satire Zone of Knowledge. Try to just learn one or two relevant terms that you can ironically insert where appropriate.
  3. Make sure you really want to do this. Stop and think about this decision for a very long time. Are you sure you want to get into humor writing? Have you decided which hobby to abandon to make time for this? Are you prepared to try for a career writing satire? If the answer to any of these questions is anything less than a resounding “YES,” reconsider immediately.
  4. Write something. There is a lot of room here for personal style; but reader, please do not write from the heart. The heart is where truth comes from, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to encroach upon the dreaded NSZK.
    That precaution aside, this step should be very, very easy, because humor is a very easy pursuit that doesn’t require any thought. Just wing it.
  5. Publish and share! You’ve written! That makes you a writer! Put it out there for all of your friends and family to see. There is a school of thought which is to ask for honest feedback; but unless your friends are satire writers, their feedback is as good as drivel and can be skipped entirely. Instead, prod each of your loved ones individually until they deliver the praise that you rightfully deserve.

If you have been following along, then congratulations! You now know as much as me about satire writing. It is with the weight of the entire writing community that I say: welcome aboard, dear writer.

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