“Gleefully wacky and irreverent.”

–The New York Times

“Line by line, Mr. Rudnick may be the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today.”

–The New York Times

“Deeply funny musings and adventures elevate Paul Rudnick to the highest level of American comedy writing.”

–Steve Martin

“One of the funniest quip-meisters on the planet.”

–The New York Times

“Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth (and love and great wicked humor) whom we ignore at our peril.”

–David Sedaris

“Quips fall with the regularity of the autumn leaves.”

–Associated Press

February 26, 2014

More Rules for Riters


1. Just because something is true doesn’t make it interesting.

2. I can’t remember who told me this, but it’s come in handy, especially in terms of playwrighting: it’s not only a good idea to begin a play as far into an ongoing crisis as possible, but the action should continue until the play’s very last line or moment. In too many plays, the action has been resolved and yet the characters keep talking things over. Those final moments need to be necessary and not merely literary.

3. It’s helpful for writers to think like actors. Good actors don’t judge their characters; they see everything from their character’s point of view. Villains rarely think of themselves as villains.

4. If you’re writing a comedy, and the audience isn’t laughing, fix it. Or just stand by the door and as the crowd leaves, tell each person, “I’m sorry, but that was funny, and you’re stupid!”

5. I’ve noticed that some readers, especially of YA, don’t like descriptions, of anything. I assume this is because they don’t have nice things.

6. In YA, girls are either poor, brave and unappreciated, or rich, pretty and mean. Boys exist to make the poor girls feel better. To quote Oscar Wilde, that is what fiction means.

7. The wonderful thing about YA is that it tends to hold your attention. The wonderful thing about adult literature is that you don’t always have to finish it.

8. If writing was fun, it would be called eating or sleeping.