How to Write an Anecdote
Just about any short story can be an anecdote when told in the proper context. Anecdotes do not exist on their own; they are dependent on other information. Simply telling a story is not an anecdote; it has to be somehow related to the conversation.
An anecdote should not begin a conversation, but rather should respond to it.
For example, the very first words of a character’s speech are that he owns a pet monkey, which will be the subject of the talk: this is not an anecdote. Later, however, he tells the audience a story about how he once taught the monkey to make a sandwich: this is an anecdote.
When to Use an Anecdote
Anecdotes are recurrently used across all genres of TV, film, and literature. They can be applied in casual or serious conversations, depending on the desired effect. For instance, if a character interrupted another character’s speech with an anecdote, it could achieve several things—a comedic effect, a tone of disrespect and tension, or an even air of emergency—depending on who interrupted and what was said. Furthermore, anecdotes can also be used to make an audience feel more interested in a topic, or to foreshadow the future, or to revisit the past…the possibilities are endless.