As those who follow this blog know, I’ve recently started a “Caption this . . .” series. From the number of hits the series is getting, it seems to be popular with readers. Several of you are already participating, but a comment from Kathryn McCullough indicated that although people may be interested, they don’t know how. I’m no expert at writing captions, but after reading a lot of newspaper and magazine cartoons, I’ve figured out why the funny ones work – at least for me. So my top tips are:
Put a twist on the situation
As my “Caption this . . .” photographs are of animals, this is not difficult. Practically anything you say is going to be a twist – a human take on an animal situation.
Choose a voice
Pick one of the characters (animals) to do the “talking”, or choose a “narrator voice”. It doesn’t always work to have several characters having a conversation.
Keep it short(ish) and simple
Think of a comment which describes the situation without over-explaining it. Say what you would say if you made the quip to a friend who knows how you think. Chances are a lot of other people will as well.
Just remember that this is not the New York Times caption contest. I’m not expecting that level of competitiveness. I value each entry I get, even if I don’t choose it as the winner.
Also, you can enter as many times as you wish. So if you have a caption with a good idea, and you later think of a refinement of that caption – post it. I consider each caption individually.
For some additional ideas for caption writing, read this excellent post by John Kinde of Humor Power called 19 Ideas For Writing Funny Cartoon Captions, and Make Your Writing Funny: Creating Humorous Captions For Pictures from the site All Freelance Writing.
So go have fun with this! The current Caption This . . . can be found here.