Thank you, Tien, for allowing me to visit today! I’m excited to be here.
One thing I love about reality is inside jokes. It amazes me how deeply people can connect over a shared experience. When people are close and spend a lot of time together, it’s crazy how many little jokes can be exchanged between them, until all of a sudden most of their conversations are in some type of bizarre code that most people couldn’t decipher. All one person has to say is purple pickle, the other person is dying laughing, and anyone watching has no idea what they’re talking about.
I was noticing this the other day with my husband. I can sense when he wants me to take the dog for a walk, which is what I agreed to do every day in order to bring the puppy home. It’s either a subtle nod or a too long stare, but I can read him, even if sometimes I ignore him for several minutes before taking my dog, Joker, out. Writers have to finish their sentences. I started to notice the ways my husband and I communicate and most of the time it’s a few words and we’re on the same page.
Stretching beyond that, I think all readers share a kind of humor. I call it book humor. My husband doesn’t read. I saw Tien’s doesn’t either. I totally get that! My husband doesn’t understand the sitting and reading for hours thing, the buying ten books without even realizing it because Kindle makes it so easy, or the jokes.
I constantly laugh at books. Even the parts that aren’t supposed to be jokes make me smile. Or something cute or unexpected makes me laugh out loud. That is the best part of the reading experience for me. And there’s nothing worse than when I re-read a section out loud, sure my husband will laugh this time, because how could he not laugh? Then he doesn’t. It’s a tough crowd in my household. But luckily, I have a community of people online who love books, and they totally get the book humor.
Both of these elements relate to the fantasy genre. Even in times of darkness, I always enjoy an unexpected laugh. And I think inside jokes deepen the world building, as long as the author provides the context. An event has to be in the book before two characters can joke about it later, but when a subtle comment is made about a previous experience, I always smile. Shared experiences between characters deepen their relationships, too.
I’ll never forget one of my favorite scenes to write in Denied. Caleb attempts to teach Tabitha how to shoot an arrow. She’s really only a master with a sword, and never had the opportunity to learn more than that, since being a female guard is forbidden in her kingdom. I won’t tell you exactly what happens, because I don’t want to give it away. But that scene to me will always be an inside joke between Tabitha and Caleb, something for them to laugh over later when they need something to lighten the mood.
This is apparent especially among families. I never realized my parents and I spoke our own language until I met my husband. Suddenly, I was discovering that there were different ways to express things, and it was very disorienting at first. In the long run, I think it did a lot in helping me prepare to write. I’m grateful that I get to see things from another perspective.
Everyone has their own way of joking. That’s part of the fun in reading. How do characters connect?
Do you have any good examples of inside jokes in fiction? Is that something you look for?
About the Author:
Kinley Baker is the author of the fantasy romance series, Shadowed Love. She read her first romance at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre.
She lives with her husband, Benjamin, and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. Ruined, Denied, and Freed are all available now from Crescent Moon Press.
Look for a new paranormal romance series in 2013. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romances.
Her Novels (clicking on covers will take you to my reviews):
Thanks Kinley for your time (I am indeed blogging because my husband just can’t understand my read-rants).
And thanks everyone for stopping by 🙂 This tour is on all August so make sure you check out the other stops, here.