1. Rimuel
    Offline

    Rimuel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    I wonder....perhaps in the azure blue sky.

    Is it possible to read sad things and not be sad?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Rimuel, Jun 18, 2013.

    For example, recently I read the synopsis of a story where a group of friends live in a town where murders occur every year, at around the same time of the year.

    Well, turns out that when that time of the year came, most in the group got murdered......and the murderer was one of them.

    The story features a time loop which always occurs when a certain character is killed. So after that, we go back to the beginning, and the storyline occurs again, with some events being different. In several of the time loops, most in the group got murdered, but the murderers were different.

    Each character's background was revealed eventually in the later arcs, and they always have same the theme: loss. The only saving grace was that in the later arcs, all the answers were revealed as to who killed who, when, and why it happened. In the final loop, everyone didn't die.


    That story made me sad; listening to a song associated with that story and reading its lyrics made me even more melancholic. Recently I also read about some other stories involving tragedies, and were reminded of many stories I've read or watched in the past. All of whom left me in a gloomy state.



    Is this a normal reaction? Is it possible for people to read or watch something sorrowful and not feel miserable? If it is possible, how likely?
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,840
    Likes Received:
    10,017
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    How likely is not a question that I think can be answered, but is it possible...? Of course it's possible. The reader can be a sociopath devoid of the capacity to connect with emotional states outside him/herself, or, much more likely, the writer can have handled the telling of sadness/tragedy/violence with banality or insecurity. You'll find uncounted threads in this forum alone where the insecurity of the writer is expressed through questions such as, "Is it ok for me to do this to my MC?", and, "I love my MC, but I think I need to kill her, help!" and the ever popular, "How mean can I be to my characters?" These insecurities lead to the writer holding back and soft-shoeing what should be emotionally impactful writing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    I think it just depends on how connected you feel to the story and how you view life. I don't know why half of the stuff makes people cry.

    When I was ten, I balled at the end of the movie Old Yeller. Watched it again as an adult and found myself thinking shoot the damn thing it's rabid. However, as calloused as that sounds, I'm sure in all of my tough guyness, if I sat down and read the ending of Where A Fern Grows, it would be pretty damn dusty in the onion cutting room
     
  4. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,840
    Likes Received:
    10,017
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Do you mean Where the Red Fern Grows?
     
  5. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    Sorry. Don't know how I messed that up. Guess I am more distracted than I thought. Thanks
     
  6. killbill
    Offline

    killbill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    where the mind is without fear...
    Speaking of fiction, over dramatized scenes and tearful characters doesn't do it for me, it is always simple writings which makes me understand the char's sadness deeply that makes me cry for the char. One example that comes to mind is "The Road".
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Yes, it can happen.

    When I read The Road, which was fairly well written (the dialogue in particular, I knew it was a sad story and I tried to invest my emotions and feelings into it, but I just couldn't become attached to the characters. This may have been because the two main characters were never named, but it shows that you can read sad things and not be sad, and I tried by best to be sad. I truly did.
     
  8. huntsman40
    Offline

    huntsman40 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    4
    There are several factors you have to consider to answer this. How well written the story is, or how well the reader gets into the story and also how empathic they are. If someone doesn't have much empathy in general then the odds are they won't get sad about something. You will normally find that people with more life experience will be more likely to get sad, as they have more likelihood of having real world events that will connect them to something you write that is sad. It’s not always the case of course as you may get a young person cry their eyes out over a story, while an older person may not get upset at all by the same thing. Emotions are a funny thing, and can sometimes depend on our mood at the time.

    Fact is that sadness is the same as fear or humour for example. We arent' all scared by the same things, or made to laugh by the same things. So not every sad tale will make every person that reads it feel blue.
     
  9. 7thMidget
    Offline

    7thMidget Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Portugal
    Personally, if I am into the story, I will certainly react to whatever happens and feel sad or happy for the character, but it's usually in a detached way - once I close the book, I won't continue feeling whatever I felt because of specific characters/situations, I'll just feel the normal sense of satisfaction from reading a great story and take whatever lessons I can use from it. I don't automatically linger in a state of deep melancholy after finishing a sad book; that happens only if I end up projecting my own fears/experiences/whatever onto it. Sad music doesn't instantly get to me either; it just puts me in a neutral, perhaps reflective, mood. Whatever I think about in those moments is what can really give me the blues. I guess I'm a sociopath, lol.
     
  10. EmmaWrite
    Offline

    EmmaWrite Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I'm a big crier when it comes to books, movies, youtube videos, etc. What I've learned to do to not let these things make me miserable is that once I'm finished reading, I don't dwell on the parts that made me sad. I also read books on lighter subjects in between the sad books.
     
  11. nhope
    Offline

    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    NH Seacoast
    Yes, it's possible. Melancholy isn't happy and neither is sad. You don't have to feel utterly wretched, draped over your mattress using a pillowcase for a tissue to feel. It could be you don't identify with those involved or the situation. Maybe it's the age or the enviroment or maybe it's the repeatability of the same thing wearing on you. Maybe it's your age or your consciousness of self-image. The fact that you ask about it indicates that it does bother you, even if it isn't exactly what you expect.
     
  12. lixAxil
    Offline

    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,504
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    The sea of fragments
    When They Cry 1 and 2 by any chance? (AKA: Higurashi no naku koro ni)
    Like that VN.

    It works a bit to make one sad. Though when I read it, I had a more desperated feeling.

    PS2 port includes a different ending, with a more bitter version of a happy ending. In the one a character dies for good this time,
     
  13. blackstar21595
    Offline

    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Brooklyn,NY
    I read a lot of sad things, and they don't make me cry. This is because of my own idiosyncrasies, not the writing. The most a book can do to me in terms of emotional impact is surprise me, make me laugh, or make me go "Damn. This is beautiful writing. The author did something amazing here." Though this happens because read to enjoy stories and learn from them.
     
  14. Rimuel
    Offline

    Rimuel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    I wonder....perhaps in the azure blue sky.
    "When Day To Day Life Is No More". I prefer this interpretation of the title :)

    I read the synopsis of the VN/Sound Novel version. The four question and answer arcs.



    I suppose it's because I'm a melancholic (ref: four temperaments). I usually prefer to read lighter stories because of that, but mysterious stories intrigue me immensely; as such, it is impossible for me to avoid such stories. A part of me wants to run away from the story, another wants to know every detail about why these things happen.
     
  15. Bellhammon
    Offline

    Bellhammon New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read stories how I view real life situations, apathetically.
     
  16. Faust
    Offline

    Faust Contributing Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Amongst the Populace [Michigan]
    When I read something, in order for me to become emotionally affected I have to have somehow developed an emotional connection to the characters, I equate to be really into a good movie and yelling "DO NOT GO IN THERE!" when you're sure your favorite character faces harm. However I find that lately this hasn't happened outside of a select few writers that know how to tug on your heartstrings. *I'm looking at you Child & Preston and Patterson, among others*

    Depending on who is in the situation and whether or not I'm 'emotionally involved' with the character's development usually determines how affected I am.
     

Share This Page