August 11th, 2009 by susan

Have You Heard The One About…?

82haveyouheardWhen I read today’s story from Steve the first thing I saw was its similarity to the traditional structure of a well-told joke. There is the setting, the buildup, the complication, the resolution. The conclusion is the punch line. There’s much to be learned about short story writing from the narrative structure of a joke.

His story is much more hard-hitting because of its topic but more because of this careful attention to structure. At the end, we’re not sure if our initial reaction to laugh is not terribly inappropriate. It’s a perfect example of hard-hitting provocative reading.

I followed the idea of jokes, but in the manner that we use them to communicate, to hide behind, to make life livable if it can be done at all.

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