Start a story with a joke. Humor is more than medicine. Comedy is a key that unlocks the imagination.
Jokes reveal the absurdity in an unpleasant situation. Great drama lives within the tension of discomfort. The right joke leads to the story waiting to be told.
Two authors uncovered the germ of a story by using jokes. Elliot Rahal’s joke became introduction to his comic book series The Vain. Andrew Shanahan turned a joke into the plot of his debut novel, Before and After.
One favorite question of readers is where do stories come from. The answer leads to a myriad of possibilities. Specifics can sometimes mean the difference between a good or great story. Like a joke, it’s the details that make the biggest impact.
A Joke On A Stick
Rahal was eating a popsicle. When he finished, he saw that there was a joke written on the wooden stick. The joke asked, Where does a vampire make withdrawals? and the answer written on the back of the stick read, From a blood bank.
Rahal told his story during a two-part interview conducted on Indie Comic Spotlight and Storytelling with Seth. It’s the robbery of a blood bank that introduces the chilling theme and mystery of The Vain #1. Rahal tells it himself on the episode player below.
The segment is titled A Joke Is Just A Story. It starts after the 31st minute for anyone wishing to skip right to the story of the joke. A Joke Is Just A Story
Trapped By Absurdity
Andrew Shanahan was a food journalist struggling with his weight gain. Shanahan’s novel began when he considered the possibility of no longer fitting through his doorway. What if he became trapped?
Before and After is the story of Ben Stone and his fight to stay alive. Ben weighs 601 pounds. He is a shut-in.
An apocalyptic event occurs on the day Ben is scheduled for a life-saving surgery. The outside world is inhospitable and populated with crazed survivors. Ben and his canine companion Brownie face an uncertain future together.
Like stories, humor has a range that includes dark, bright, and absurdly silly. The choice exists to turn the story into a joke reveals one of those three categories, or something entirely different. Shanahan’s story of a joke begins at the 12:30 mark on the episode player below.It Started With A Pun
The Journey Of A Joke
There are over 100 types of stories. Discovering the story that builds a connection with readers can begin with laughter. Where the story ends is part of the journey. Taking the first step with a joke can lead to laughter, adventure, and the unexpected.
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