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I decided only a few short moments ago that I’m going to be a caption contest winner. After a quick search of the internet several caption contests popped up. See…
I may not ever be the greatest caption contest writer although, I have set a goal to be a caption contest winner sometime in 2008. Now I’m not talking about just any captions, I’m talking about funny captions.
Since the New Yorker Caption Contest is probably the most well know. If you search blogs on google you will notice many bloggers will have caption contests from time to time.
My plan to go about actually winning a caption contest is as follows.
1. Start writing captions for everything.
2. Enter caption contests.
Pretty simple really.
Since I’m just getting started I would like to get some practice in before actually hitting the underground caption contest scene.
Below some of my newly formed and always changing caption writing techniques.
State the obvious
Simple, state the obvious of what’s going on.
Look at this differently than people generally would. What is the perspective of each element in this?
Write about what is going on offscreen.
Ask all the questions. What is going on? Why are they there? Who is there? Who isn’t there? Why? What? How? When? Who? … Ask questions, then answer them. Either write your question or answer, tah-dah instant funny caption.
I could go off on abstract logic for a very very long time. This is by far my favorite type of humor. Basically you make things relate through a chain of other things. It’s like playing chess and being able to think several moves ahead. With abstract logic you basically let the viewer make the relationship. It’s hard to explain however, I will give examples.
You got It.
This method is basically taking people to a certain point and letting them discover the punch-line. You simply influence people to come to the same conclusion.
Nearly Perfect Fit
Write a caption that is nearly a perfect fit. No rules, just make it work.
Keep in mind these are practice captions and I’ll be using some great photos from the USDA ( United States Department of Agriculture).
Let’s see if I can put into practice these ideas of writing funny captions…
State the obvious: That’s a lot of meat.
Change perspective:“My buns are cold.”
Offscreen:Where did I put all those sandwiches?
Question:Arrgh scurvy dogs! Who be hungry?
Abstract Logic: Garage sale today.
You got It: Harold was found 3 days later.
Nearly Perfect Fit: Pass the salt.
State the obvious: Hold your horses.
Change perspective:Nice shoes.
Offscreen:We have the same color of eyes.
Question:Where are the instructions for this thing?
Abstract Logic: I store my carrots in there.
You got It: It was a beautiful wedding.
Nearly Perfect Fit: My hand is stuck.
State the obvious: Nice Pairs.
Change perspective:Your hands are soft.
Offscreen:Why brussels sprouts are sad.
Question:What are these things for?
Abstract Logic: I should run for politics.
You got It: Heir of Mr.Rodgers estate.
Nearly Perfect Fit: I can only afford one.
Last one for now.
State the obvious: Hmmm? “Raising Bran” or “Raisin Bran”?
Change perspective:Singles shopping market.
Offscreen:This should clear her out.
Question: Now where does it say how many scoops of raisins are in here?
Abstract Logic: This novel is pretty good.
You got It: Seconds before a major isle clean up.
Nearly Perfect Fit: Caution: This product main contain raisins.
Another great practice is to re-write captions for cartoons. Generally one panel cartoons work best for this and remember Ziggy and Family Circus captions are almost always interchangeable.
10 rules for humor
Design Better with CRAP
19 Ideas for writing funny cartoon captions