1. Sillraaia
    Offline

    Sillraaia Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mood swinging, and flow.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sillraaia, Nov 29, 2009.

    Okay, so I finished my story, then thought of a vital scene that must be added to tie up some pretty big loose ends.
    The scene that tied them up though, is very traumatic for the mc, and now I have to bring the mood back down to accommodate for the jovial attitude of the next scene. So I need to get from A to B.

    Basically, A is: She gets her face sliced in the trauma, and He feels responsible and guilty because of it.
    But in the next scene, which would be B, She seems fine, and He is teasing - or rather, saying something just to see her get jealous.

    I just need to think it through some more probably, but any kind of input might help spawn the ideas that don't seem to be coming atm. Been at it for 2 hours already, and feel kinda brain-dead.
    I didn't want to have to change the next scene's humor, as I feel that really adds to the story where it is.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to swing the mood back quickly? Or had this happen to them before?
     
  2. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    Put the scene elsewhere, where it fits better with the emotional arch of the story? Sticking a happy scene into the darkest moment of a story, for example, will only serve to dillude it and confuse. Emotions are built up over time and changed over time, if you jumble it all up it becomes either grey or frustrating.
     
  3. Sillraaia
    Offline

    Sillraaia Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the reply. I am not sure I can poke the scene anywhere but where it is.. Maybe I need to look again. Or twist the conversation somehow to where they are both feeling somewhat better about it all.
     
  4. 180films
    Offline

    180films New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can you tie up the lose ends in scene B?

    If A is that important than follow the emotional arch to ends logical conclusion - rewrite B.
     
  5. Phantasmal Reality
    Offline

    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Actually, emotional upheavals happen all the time. Life is traumatic. The only time it becomes gray or frustrating in writing is when the author doesn't know how to handle the trauma and fails to show the character's turmoil in overcoming it. Not that I fault them. Writing about intense emotional upheaval is not only difficult in its own right, but we seldom have the luxury of allowing our characters a full, "realistic" response. Let's say our hero's city is burnt to the ground, killing everyone he loved and leaving him destitute. Does he have the luxury of moping around for days on end or, God forbid, giving up on life right then and there? No, because he has to go save the world, or get revenge, or somehow manage to survive, or whatever else it is that we need him to do in the course of the story. It's sad, but readers will only sympathize with his grief for so long; after that, he's simply "wangsting".

    Now, I'm not saying you should have a character go from "woe is me" to "life is great!" without anything in-between. The greater the trauma that character has to overcome, the more we need to see of the healing process, or at least the process of suppressing their emotional baggage for later. Failure to show either is a sure way to destroy your readers' willingness to suspend disbelief for you. However, as long as you show that the character did something with their baggage (even if all they did was swallow it for later regurgitation), your readers won't mind, as long as whatever you showed is appropriate for the character and the situation. (And, to some extent, your readers' expectations. It's ok, or at least tolerable, for a supporting character to be a whiny little emo for the entire story, but not the hero. Not unless you're aiming for comedy.)

    Anyway, my advice for the question asked is this: just make A and B meet up. If I were facing the same problem, I would stretch A out a little longer. That will put some distance between the trauma and the jovial nature of scene B and will also allow you to show both He and She getting over it. If that's not feasible because of He, She, or the nature of the trauma (none of which you really told us about), then I would rewrite scene B to either: a) not be jovial, or b) to have underlying tension. Maybe they're just kidding themselves by being cheery. Maybe the cracks are showing. Maybe the smiles are tight and forced, the quips brief. How to handle it is up to you. Just make sure you don't leave your reader's going, "What the hell?" ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Destin
    Offline

    Destin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Canada
    Could it be possible to change the character's attitudes so that a quick mood swing wouldn't be unbelievable?
    Maybe they have volatile personalities.
    This probably isn't an option if the characters are exactly the way you want them right now or the story is very long and that re-work would be really labor intensive.
     

Share This Page