1. Maufii
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    Maufii New Member

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    humorous to tragic?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Maufii, Jul 22, 2011.

    I'm writing a story that starts of comedic, quite silly in some areas, but ends up becoming a tragedy with a deeper look on friendship and the meaning of life according to different people. I'm not sure if I've ever seen anything that has this kind of structure, so are there in references out there on this kind of structure? Will it be an acceptable structure, or do you think it will loose the audience who may be expecting the story to remain in a humorous tone? What do yall think?
     
  2. ShatteredHopes
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    ShatteredHopes Member

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    Generally a storyline does stick to one or the other, but I think that if you switch from humorous to serious that's ok! As long as you mould it properly for the reader to see the transformation :)
     
  3. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    There are quite a lot of young adult and children's books out there who do similar styles of work that wouldn't hurt you perusing. Of the top of my head, I cannot remember titles, but that's the first thing that popped in there upon reading your question.
     
  4. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    In any tragedy, it's necessary to have some sort of comic relief.
    Trigun fits this. Also read the five books to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.Douglass Adams talks about life, the universe, and everything while still making you laugh your ass off.

    In other words, yes, this "formula" can be very successful.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps watch Click, a comedy by Adam Sandler. It's a remake or would you rather say, modernised version of The Christmas Carol.

    SPOILER FOR CLICK BELOW!


    Sandler gets a remote control that can control everyone's lives, and he can pause, fast forward and rewind like it was TV, only he'd do this to his boss, his wife, his kids. And it was really funny to begin with - and soon he found out he'd fast forwarded his whole life and he finds himself in different bits of his future life but not knowing how he got there, why his wife is gonna divorce him etc. Then the equivalent of the Christmas Spirit comes, and takes him back to see what went wrong.

    I remember there was a scene where he watched himself shout at his dad mercilessly, and his father stands there looking frail and old and simply begging his son - I think it was the dad begging him to come to a family Christmas dinner - and Sandler watched himself shout at him and kick him out of his office. And Sandler paused the scene with his remote, goes up to his dad - who by that time in his actual real life, is dead - and simply cries.

    SPOILER ENDS

    I don't know, I thought it was actually quite well done - but I watched it many years ago.

    To be honest, your line of thought isn't so unusual - Hollywood is doing that all the time with their comedies nowadays, trying to inject some kind of meaning/message into it. I know "The Break Up" isn't "tragic" but it has a sad ending. Some other comedy about a dog did too (Marley?) and there was another one with Uma Thurman which ended much like The Break Up did. All in all, not so uncommon.
     
  6. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I think it's perfectly ok to have a story become more serious as it progresses. As Mckk above me said Click is a good example. And look at say Harry Potter. It's a very lighthearted series to begin with but by the end it's much darker. Go for it but make it natural.
     
  7. Maufii
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    Maufii New Member

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    Ah, thank you! That's a good example there! I actually forgot all about that movie up until you brought it up.


    Thanks everyone for the comments! I read them and they were all very helpful and reassuring. I think I can keep writing my story now with one less worry.
     
  8. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    It's actually based on a completely different story than the Christmas Carol, though I don't remember the title of. In the story Click is based on, a boy is given a spool of thread that will allow him to move forward in the course of his life whenever he feels things aren't moving fast enough, or are becoming stressful. He finally gets to his old age and he realizes he wasted time and missed crucial moments by not being patient.

    Essentially Click used the same theme, only replacing the thread with the remote control.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Many of Hitchcock's movies combined humor with tragedy, suspense, or horror.
     
  10. LostBreakingDevelopment
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    LostBreakingDevelopment New Member

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    You can absolutely combine tragedy and humor! The Scott Pilgrim graphic novels immediately come to mind. They are witty and crazy and silly but when the conflict gets going there are depictions of the tragedy that can come from romantic relationships in our modern day.

    Good Luck!
     
  11. Ralinde
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    Ralinde Member

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    Yes, this combo can be seen in many places. Lots of things indeed, are lighthearted but with serious connetations running beneath all that. Many films by PIXAR are a good example. They're all children's films at first glance with hidden messages beneath. Wall-e and Up are two of the more serious ones with some very potent messages behind them.

    While I suspect this may be not quite what you were asking, I think it will help as it is a different method to consider.
     

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