A Semi-Specific Story to Tell (Eisner Quiz)

In his book “Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative”, Will Eisner gives his readers basic information on writing stories. One of a few ideas he proposes using to write a story is on page 103, and it suggests starting a story with a joke in mind. The visual example he provides on that page includes both images and text in explaining the layout of a joke told as a story: the prologue, actual events, and the kicker. This struck me as a good story type to talk about, because I realized that jokes are perhaps the most common type of story that is told. I tell joking stories all the time, and if you think about it I’m sure you will be able to recall many examples of jokes others spun for you in story-format. Once you get the reader’s attention with a hook, usually some sort of introduction to the plot of your joke, you can keep the reader’s attention (this is called reader retention, as stated on page 51) by making the content understandable, relatable, and/or attractive. In terms of jokes, this mainly entails making the actual events more interesting – usually cause for selective exaggeration.

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