1. Finley Markus
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    Finley Markus New Member

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    Lighthearted or Gloomy?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Finley Markus, Nov 16, 2006.

    My short stories tend to be dark and gloomy, emotional above everything else. Like my story "Fall"--- it's about a boy who's on the edge of the roof of his high school, contemplating jumping, and a girl who arrives in a sort of daze, telling him to appreciate what he has, and then she jumps--- again, very twisted and very emotional.

    I've been told I'm a good writer, but that my work needs to be a lot less dark. What do you think? Would you rather read happy, lubby-dubby stories or dark, emotional, makes-you-think stories?
     
  2. zerobytes
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    zerobytes Contributing Member

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    Um...my answer would be yes. Both have their place and both have a market. I think it really depends on the target audience you are writing for. The only thing I would warn against (though it doesn't sound like you're doing this) is writing up emotional vent sessions and then trying to impress others with them. This is more common in poetry but I've read several short stories that feel the same way. Emoting on paper can be very theraputic so there's nothing wrong with it but, like modern dance, I think it accomplishes more for the artist than the audience. Having said all that. I actually think your story idea is intriguing. I wouldn't mind reading it. Gloomy fiction definitely has it's place (enter Edgar Allen Poe)...at least on my bookshelf.
     
  3. ariella
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    ariella Contributing Member

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    All I can say is that the idea you have sounds really interesting and I really enjoy anything that has you on the edge of your seat and thinking the whole way through it. Personally I prefer fantasy, I never have like all that mushy love stuff in books, so not my thing.
     
  4. Brazen
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    Brazen Member

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    My 2 cents:

    If you just mainly like to write angst, that's fine. Most likely, since you've written more gloomy stuff, that's what you're going to be better at. However, if you want to develop your writing skills so you're better at writing lighthearted pieces, by all means, start writing. Do you have a story idea floating around in your head that you can write in a lighthearted way? Get it down on the keyboard/paper if you do.

    Some are going to perfer angst. And some will perfer cheerful stuff. You can't just ask the audience. You have to write what you want when you are inspired to do so and write it out to the best of your abilites.
     
  5. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Were you told why your stories need to be less dark?

    What if Poe had been given the same advice? How many great stories would the world have missed? Or Angela Carter?

    There's a market for dark and a market for light-hearted. Write that which you enjoy and never worry about those readers who don't belong to your target audience.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  6. Fiesty Kel
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    Fiesty Kel Member

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    I like dark, I think they can be powerful and I like the idea of your work mentioned above. I'd not stop writing gloom if its what you feel passionate about doing.
     
  7. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    You're being really kind of a jerk and over-simplifying. Just because someone tells you you need to make a less-dark piece of work doesn't mean it needs to be, "One day the deer woke up. The sun was shining. The cute deer was happy. It played with its friends and everybody loved it and YAY! :-D_:-D"

    That is the kind of thing that makes me barf.

    Then again, you don't need "One dark night, Rob woke up, his eyes crusty from drugs and hate and tears. His life sucked, he wanted to cut himself, why couldn't those stupid f*gs tell that the wounds were crawling in his skin? He needed to purge the darkness from his underworld of death and pain and misery and RAAR! >=U"

    That is the kind of thing that makes me want to cry with pity for the writer's bound-to-be-dismal future career.

    What I think your critics were trying to tell you was that you need to find a place in the middle. What you seem to be assuming (I could be wrong so don't yell at me if I'm totally misinterpreting this) is that if a story isn't really dark and angsty, it's bound to be light and meaningless.
    But comedy and satire can be one of the best ways of engaging your brain in ethical dillemas. For example, you should pick up Terry Pratchett. He's the world's best living satirist, and has a bestselling, 30+ book series called Discworld that is a blend of fantasy, sci-fi, and nonsensical humor. However, in reading his books, you find the most troubling issues in politics and modern culture laid out for you to observe and think about it. One can be funny and touching at the same time. It just takes a lot of skill, and it is infinitely better to read than dark stories that make you think, because while a dark story is just the thoughts laid out for you to read, a funny/ethical story impresses you because you have to wonder at how the author managed to blend two completely seperate emotions to make a perfect feel.

    Think about that the next time someone tells you to be less dark. Don't think "Lovey dovey." Think, "In between." And trust me, you'll benefit greatly for it.



    PS. That short story of yours sounds great. Please post it up.
     
  8. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    There are people who don't like Pratchett and who like dark stuff. Go figure.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  9. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    ...you totally missed the point of what I just said. I didn't say you had to like it. I said it would be good to find a place in between.

    Go figure.
     
  10. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    No, I understood your point, I thought you were wrong.

    There's no reason why anyone who writes dark stuff should 'need to find a place in the middle.' and no reason why they would 'benefit greatly' by 'thinking inbetween' dark and lovey-dovey.

    Sometime you just have to have faith in what you're doing and to hell with those who think you should find some grey middle-ground where others wish to write. Some of the best writers are those who ignore the mainstream. For some reason, people often think they should impose their own writing preferences on others. In my view this is totally wrong.

    If you want to write lovey-dovey, write it. If you want to write in-between, write that. And if you want to write dark, write dark. Each requires its own skillset and each has a market.

    Trying to force someone who writes dark stories to write something different is poor advice, in my opinion, for precisely those reasons.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  11. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Y'see now, this is how it works. It's called a hook. The best writers have a great knack of influencing potential readers to read on with such a thing.
    What I have just quoted above is what hooked me into wanting to read more. A really cool twist indeed :cool: You already have an eager reader here. :)

    Write it if you feel the same about it as me, and forget about the amateur advice currently present here.
     
  12. Avrilkiller
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    Avrilkiller Member

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    Everyone talking about the Hook is right...as soon as I read that little description, I meant to ask you to post it, or tell me where I could read it.

    And since it doesn't sound like it was written at all to be a hook, just a practical example of your dark writing, I can only assume I was attracted by yummy goodness ^.^
     

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