Monday, January 24, 2011

That Time At The Place With The Stuff

Because I love xkcd so much, I'm going to open with this.

Human beings, when they're talking to people they know pretty well, have inside jokes. They make references to past experiences and conversations. Interesting characters will do this as well.

Don't believe me? Watch this clip from Love Actuallybetween 5:42 and 6:00.

Now, come on, isn't that an absolutely fabulous opening?

In that opener, we get a sense of who each guy is and just how well they know each other. Because they've got these shared experiences they can reference talking to each other.

Inside jokes -- so long as they're explained enough that one knows they're inside jokes -- can be a great way of explaining just how long characters have known each other, how well they know each other, and -- depending on the joke -- can provide hints to back story that might be apparent later.

Useful, no?

So, how about those zebras?

Do you like inside jokes? Do your characters tell them? How do you feel about character's rehashing shared experiences and telling inside jokes?


  1. I love inside jokes! It takes some skill to successfully implement them into a story.

  2. Lol.. yes.. I love inside jokes... I haven't incorporated them into my novel yet... ummm.. I don't thINK... :)

  3. Hmm... I haven't put inside jokes into any stories yet. I'll have to give it a try.

  4. I think it depends on how the situation and how smoothly you can bring it into your story. It could work really well or it good go really wrong.

  5. Hanny -- Yes, it would probably take some serious setting up.

    WritingNut -- Cute.

    Susan -- I'll have to try it as well. Could be fun.

    Sully's -- Yes, it could go either way. But it might be fun to try it.