Weekend Assignment: Writing Anti-Advice

Writing humor often means turning something familiar on its head. In fact, the ability to look at something from a different angle can highlight a funny facet that you might not otherwise see.

For example, I recently had a conversation about martial arts with an enthusiast. It seems that enrollment is down in her class and they would like to add more members. Over the course of that conversation, she explained that often people she was trying to recruit would ask, “What do you do there?” In response, she would give an impromptu demonstration.

“Of course,” she said over the phone, “the person really needs to fall when you do this move I’m showing them. If you don’t fall, it kinda hurts.”

“So basically, you are telling potential new classmates, ‘Hey! C’mon down to the dojo and pay us money to cause you pain?” I asked.

She’d never looked at it that way, but agreed that this probably wasn’t the best strategy. Her approach might not be the best way to recruit new classmates, but it could be a great basis for a humorous “How NOT to” article.

For this weekend, your writing assignment is to look at something you know how to do. Then turn it on its head and write how NOT to do it. Some examples:

  • How NOT to get a cat out of a tree.
  • Ten things NOT to do if you want to get lucky with the ladies.
  • How NOT to find serenity through the art of Feng Shui.

Brainstorm five, pick one (or more if the mood strikes you) and write it up.

The Show and Tell Challenge

Step right up and take the B&B Show and Tell Challenge! Here’s how. Simply write your response to this assignment, post it on your blog, then come back and leave a link to your post in the comments. It’s that simple!

Need more inspiration? Click here.

4 comments on “Weekend Assignment: Writing Anti-Advice

  1. Just saw this fun challenge – thanks!

    How NOT to get a cat out of a tree:
    1. Do not squirt with a hose. Though effective, cats grow a fear of water ever after.
    2. Do not attempt to lasso cat. Results have been known to be tragic.
    3. Do not send dog into tree to scare it down. A) Dogs can’t climb trees, B) Then dog would be stuck in tree
    4. Do not use cliche cartoon tricks to tempt the cat down, like a cat of the opposite sex, milk or a mouse – this is the real world, it doesn’t work.
    5. Do not call the fire department – it’s just a cat.

    Suggestion – ingore him. That’s what he would do if you were up a tree.

  2. I didn’t follow directions well, did I? I just used one of yours and went with it =)

    • That’s okay, Tara.

      I’m glad you took the challenge. We once had a stray cat “stuck” in our tree for two days. I’m sorry to say that we attempted a couple of the items on your list. It didn’t go well, as I’m sure you would expect. I loved your suggestion at the end. 🙂

      Happy Writing!

  3. […] Weekend Assignment: Writing Anti-Advice (barbaratyler.wordpress.com) […]

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