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  1. Forgotten Conscience
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    Forgotten Conscience New Member

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    Tragic Non-existence

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Forgotten Conscience, May 13, 2009.

    So I was watching TV recently as I often do, and something struck me about a particular plot twist of sorts that they introduced in the season finale. I won't go into detail of what the twist was to avoid spoiling anyone who may not have seen the show which I will mention was Fringe. The scene takes place in New York and involves a tragedy of sorts.

    Anyway, seeing this "twist" gave me pause to think about tragedies in many of the different films/television shows. I'm not necessarily talking about disaster films or things of that nature, but there are such films as Hotel Rwanda, Flight 93, World Trade Center, Elephant, and Home Room (those last two involving a school shooting). It got me thinking about the idea of tragedies that reflect real life and writing about them.

    When writing, is it best to avoid subjects like that? Or is it possible to do them properly and actually help people? Have you or would you ever write about such subjects and how would you if you did?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Didn't the revelation send a chill through you. though? That particular scene could have been done as well in written form - it didn't depend on a shock visual effect.

    I would say it was a very effective way of revealing a crucial turn to the story - and it's something J. J. Abrams is very good at, in my opinion.
     
  3. Forgotten Conscience
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    Forgotten Conscience New Member

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    I wouldn't say that it sent a chill through me. A couple of seconds before the big reveal, I was wondering what building she was in already, but it took me until the very last moment of the full view to be sure that's where they were. That was definitely a cool visual and it did really emphasize the change.

    I'm not sure that it would do as well in written for though. There are very few people over the age of 25 living today who don't have a visual memory of what happened to draw from. A written description probably won't do it for at least another 10 years or so I would think.

    J.J. Abrams does seem to have a good grasp of story-telling for the most part.
     
  4. Nervous1st
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    Nervous1st Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, that TV program you're referring to doesn't air here, so I have no idea what you're talking about.

    To answer your question, I don't think you should avoid the tragedies of real life. We all have to face them one way or another. I believe that reading the experiences of others helps us carry our own burdens.

    I recently read a fiction novel about a Mother who was not coping with her toddler and new born baby... sleep deprivation, breastfeeding and loss of social life were taking their toll. The character's thoughts were similar to those of any new Mother, but we're afraid to tell anyone for fear of being judged a bad parent. I found myself relating to this character and taking comfort in the challenges she faced.

    Although this is not a 'tragedy' in the way you are referring, I am simply giving an example of our how this story has, in some ways 'helped' me.

    Good luck
     
  5. Dalouise
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    Dalouise Contributing Member

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    I don't like "real life" stories, those based on tragic events because the true story always seems to get twisted and if you were actually there at the time, this could be extremely irritating. I prefer to see something that takes a concept from a real life event but doesn't pretend to replicate it apart from in general terms.
     
  6. Romendacil
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    Romendacil Member

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    Why should be "real life" issues more touching than "fictional" tragedies?

    I mean...
    When we are writing fiction, we write about things that are not real... but people perceive real emotion and thoughts on "real" matters. I guess we are writing about something that "could" happen or "could have happened".
    Talking about the world trade center... reading Oedipus... I mean they are both tragedies in a fictional world. When speaking of the real world we should, yes, be aware that there is a difference between reality and fiction... but since were talking about fiction, I see no reason why Oedipus is less of a tradegy and should be less. . . aggravating. Some psychologists claim that we all have it at some state anyway...
    Perhaps Oedipus is not the best example...
    But I hope you understand what I mean.
     
  7. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    Sometimes, real life tragedies are more touching than fictional ones because they're real. It's the difference between reading a Tom Clancy novel where a man's head is violently hacked off with a blunt machete, and watching someone tell about it actually happening on Locked Up Abroad.

    That really all comes down to a matter of subjective perception, though.
     
  8. Romendacil
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    Romendacil Member

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    Oh... I'm sorry, I meant to say that we perceive fictional tragedies AS they were real, because even though they are not reality, they might as well could be. They are reflecting reality. And that reflection is as powerful. So whether were reflecting on 9/11 or Oedipus... if one understands art, he is, them being in a fictional setting, equally touched by them both.

    Another thing is, of course, political correctness.
    That's an issue we all have personal opinions on.
    I personally say that we, as writers (Artists.) do not need to consider it, if what we think we are saying is true.
     

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