Tyler Durden’s Rules for Writing Satire


Welcome to Satire Comedy. 

The first rule of satire is: you do not talk about satire comedy. 

No one at your shitty 9-5 wants to listen to you talk about late night TV or Reductress headlines. They don’t care that you finally got accepted to McSweeneys after trying for five years. They don’t want you to send them Onion articles on Slack. They do *not* want to listen to your take on Booksmart, Sarah Silverman, or anything else. This especially means you, Todd. 

The second rule of satire is: you do not talk about satire comedy. 

Again, Todd, I am speaking directly to you. Your friends don’t want to hear about it. Your family members could not care less. Even other people who do comedy don’t care what you have to say about it. I’m not fucking around on this one. 

Third rule of satire is: if someone yells ‘Stop!’, goes limp, taps out – you should definitely rewrite your shit. 

Listen Todd, Satire is hard. We all struggle with it. But if you ask someone to read your piece and they literally have to shout ‘Stop!’ then your piece is not good. I don’t know how else to explain this to you. Rewrite it. Maybe proof read it first before asking someone else to look at it. And maybe ask yourself – will this make someone pass out and go limp just from reading my actual words? If the answer is yes: redo it!

Fourth rule: only two writers to a piece. 

If you’re writing a piece with a whole team of people, then Todd. Why? Write a piece with a partner or by yourself. But if you have a whole staff for one post, what are you even doing? Where do you work? Who are all of these people? 

Fifth rule: one submission at a time, Todd. 

Jesus, please do not send the folks at blogs multiple submissions at once. This feels like it should be common knowledge. They are going to reject everything and then blacklist you. I know you have a lot of things working, but honestly, you can’t expect them to read every idea you poop out. Curate it. Work on it. Hone your craft. Make it match their voice and style. Most importantly, follow their submission instructions! 

Sixth rule: No Shirt, No Shoes

This one is very self-explanatory. What the fuck about this don’t you understand, Todd?

Seventh Rule: Pieces will go on as long as they have to. 

Again if you can’t follow simple submission instructions, I just don’t know how I can help you. It definitely says right on the website how long or short posts need to be. Make your piece match that. And honestly, if you’re closer to the maximum, cut at least 100 words. No one has time to read 10,000 words about phrases you overheard in Dutch Country, Pennsylvania.

And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time with Satire, you have to submit. 

Just hit submit, Todd, I can’t hold your hand on every single thing.

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