Dave Barry describes his process:

I write very slowlypainfully slowlyand while yes, I really want it to look spontaneous and random, generally I'll spend a lot of time just on the first joke, till it seems right, and then I'll think, OK, what would be a good one to go after that. At that point I'm really not thinking about how it's going to end or how it's going to be structuredonly about what the next joke will be. And then the next joke after that. There are exceptions, for instance if you're writing a screenplay or something you have more of an idea of what the structure will be, but most topics I don't. It's just a question of what's the next joke going to be. And I won't go on until I have it.

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