My Book Review of ‘The Eight Characters of Comedy’ | The Mindful Writer

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Hi, I have another book review today: The Eight Characters of Comedy.

Now, this book. The thing is, I think even though it’s geared towards acting, there’s a lot in here for writers. It is a guide to sitcom acting and writing. And that tells you how important it is to when you’re writing screenplays to think about the characters.

The characters are so important. And part of what makes comedy work, the point that this book makes about how comedy works is that the characters have to take themselves and their needs seriously. So in a sense, comedy is a serious business, but it comes off as funny when we watch somebody seriously acting according to their nature in conflict with somebody else seriously acting in according with their nature. And basically what this book goes into is the psychology of those different characters and the different character types that you will see in a typical sitcom.

Now, some people look at this and say, “Well, that’s just so formulaic.” Well, yes it is. It’s a formula and it works. And that’s the point. And so much of what’s done on television and in movies is done according to a formula. So if you can’t deal with that, you probably shouldn’t be writing for television or movies. And that’s really kind of what it comes down to. I mean, if you expect to make any money at it, let’s put it that way, because you could make an arty film, but that won’t necessarily make you a lot of money. It might achieve something else for you. But this is about stock characters in the usual type of sitcom. And I would suggest to anybody who’s interested in this area, watch sitcoms and look for these character types while you’re reading this book, because it will help you understand how to write them a lot better. And that’s it. That’s all I have for now.

So I’ll talk to you later!

You can buy the book on Amazon: (affiliate link)

Or buy it on Kobo: (affiliate link)

You can also buy it for Nook: (non-affiliate link)

But what’s really awesome is that you can buy a print copy online and support indie bookstores: (affiliate link)

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Originally published at on March 24, 2020.

New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website:

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