How to Write Satire
Because satire is such a diverse category, there’s no simple end-to-end guide to writing it. But the first step is always to come up with an idea or target. In order to make people think critically about a subject, you have to have something to write about first. Maybe there’s something going on in contemporary politics that you find absurd, or maybe it’s the way people talk about politics that you want to make fun of. Or, it might be something on a smaller level – something about the “politics” of your school, team, or family might be worth satirizing.
As in all other forms of writing, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to have everything worked out in advance. If you’re curious about something, or bothered by it, and you feel compelled to say something, then do so. Always remember that you’ll learn as you write, and the process of writing your satire may help you see more clearly what it is that you want to write about. Through a gradual process of writing and revising, you’ll keep noticing new ideas about your target, and eventually you may be able to craft a satire that makes people laugh and, at the same time, changes the way they think.
When to use Satire
Be careful using satire in school assignments! Most teachers and professors are accustomed to seeing straightforward essays, and they may not notice (or appreciate) your attempt at satire. Some teachers, however, feel exactly the opposite way. Be careful, and if you’re not sure, you can always ask. In creative writing, something similar applies – if you’re using satire in a school project, it’s best to be sure the teacher is OK with it.
Outside of school, however, satire can be an excellent way to make a point about any social issue – no matter how big or small.