Pauline over at Brightest Blue inspired this post when she asked me if I ever include inside jokes in my novels that only my family and close friends would understand. I thought it was an excellent question, one that no one else had ever asked before.
My immediate thought was—Oh yes I do!
A writer’s work is quite personal and close to the heart. While the story can be completely fabricated, we take many of those little snippets that make up real life, and put them in our work. Every writer is an observer. We play attention to details. Then we record what we see and hear, weaving it into our prose as we go. Perhaps this is why our novels are so very personal to us–so much of ourselves goes into the books we write.
I’ve known painters who include a symbol somewhere in their paintings, something that would go unnoticed by many, but something that is quite personal to them. I think it’s something fairly common.
Could it be that this is similar to what a writer does?
Our family has a lot of little inside jokes. No doubt many families do. Would other people find our jokes humourous? Probably not. Most of our jokes would fall into the “You had to be there” category. Let me just say we’re a pretty silly bunch. Just ask any of the people who “know” us in real life.Too many funny things have happened over the years, and for me laughter is one of our most precious gifts.
Is it tempting to put some of these inside jokes in the stories I write? Oh I have to admit it is VERY tempting. Being the one in control allows me the freedom to do what I want, and make it as personal as I want. While there is nothing comical in my writing I still take pleasure in including these inside jokes in my stories. Usually it is a single word that holds some meaning, although sometimes a short saying can bring the giggles out of us as well. Of course it has too fit naturally into the story, no awkwardness just for the sake of slipping it into a story.
Pauline’s question made me curious about the rest of you. So I’ve go to ask:
Do you include inside jokes in the stories you write? Or, like a painter who uses a symbol of importance in their work, do you place words of importance in the stories you write?
I bet you didn’t expect such a long-winded answer, Pauline. I’ll just say thanks for the inspiration.