?

Gritty vs. Lighthearted?

Poll closed Jun 24, 2015.
  1. Gritty

    42.9%
  2. Lighthearted

    57.1%
  1. Elloimellie
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    Elloimellie New Member

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    Which do you prefer- a mature novel or a lighthearted one?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Elloimellie, Jun 10, 2015.

    Which do you personally prefer? Assuming both novels have the same themes, would you prefer reading a more mature novel that tackles all of these themes head on and is filled with angst, or a lighthearted novel where the themes are tackled more subtly and the tone is more jocular?
     
  2. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I need a satire option!
     
  3. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Douglas Adams: lighthearted grittiness.
     
  4. ThePhysicist13
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    ThePhysicist13 Member

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    I think it depends on how the story is told. For example, a big part of the reason why Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is such a phenomenal book is because Huck's naivete makes for a light-hearted feel while directing the reader's interpretation of it. If some somber, omniscient narrator told the story, it would have probably been like a very long parable, and someone could have written an essay and covered the themes just as well. Without Huck as the narrator, the sombre and ironic moments would lose so much of their impact on the reader.

    It also depends a good deal on what you're dealing with thematically, I think, but I personally tend to dislike cheery stories. I prefer stories that make me think in new ways about things I don't really want to think about in my day-to-day life.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It really depends what these themes are. If the work is about something like torture or rape, I don't think a lighthearted tone is the way to go. It also depends on the writer and what he/she is good at and/or interested in. Some writers, like Dostoevsky or Cormac McCarthy, prefer taking a serious tone (partly due to subject matter), and others prefer a more lighthearted tone.
     
  6. J_Downloading
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    J_Downloading Member

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    My favourite aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, an entirely mature novel runs the risk of easily becoming dull and too self-absorbed, while an entirely lighthearted novel often runs the risk of not being grounded enough in reality to hold my interest.
     
  7. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    diary of a wimpy kid. love it.
     
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  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends on what my mood is at the time.
     
  9. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The OP commits the true art is angsty fallacy.
     
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  10. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm not sure about just those two choices I mean take Breakfast of Champions - it's lighthearted but I wouldn't call it jocular - in it's own way it's gritty and mature. Plus I could call Mickey Spillane gritty -don't know about mature. Lol.
    This really depends on the author, their style, their take on gritty and lighthearted and most important - what the subject is.
     
  11. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    Oh gosh, I've been doing both in mine.
     
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  12. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    I prefer grit for the most part. I prefer that a novel explore the reality of life on earth, and the gritty novels are more likely to do so. I'm a huge fan of Hemingway because he captured the human condition better than pretty much everyone.
     
  13. jaebird
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    jaebird Active Member

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    Probably gritty for the most part, but every now and then I gotta take a break from that.
     
  14. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    And that's usually my favorite!

    My mood changes in phases. I go through phases where I want gritty, down to earth, meat on the bones, and there's phases where I just want to laugh and forget that one day every single one of us is going to die.

    Usually though, my favorite all time books and authors incorporate both in their works.
     
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  15. Ussaid
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    Ussaid Member

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    Now that's dark
     
  16. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Depends on what I'm into, to be honest. Sometimes I like gritty stuff, other times I just want to kick back and enjoy an easy, light-hearted read.
     
  17. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    That's the best way to do it IMO, you don't want the whole book to be one long gritty haul... there has to be humour injected into it, or light heartedness. It makes the book more turbulent, it makes the grittiness more depressing, it makes the jovial parts more of a relief. Just as action needs to be calmed, so darkness needs to be assuaged.
     
  18. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes I want a easy going lighthearted read other times it's a horror novel kinda time.... until I get some lose cash and restock mt have-not-read-yet-pile, it's going to be between rereading classics i loved reading to my son at night.
     
  19. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    I prefer reading things that don't make me even more depressed than reality does. Ideally, they should at the very least be optimistic enough to make me want to be in that world.
     
  20. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I like a full bodied mature that sinks its hooks into me. ;)
     
  21. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm chuckling, thinking about Heller's Catch-22, which I found to be hysterically funny the first time I read it, extremely bitter the second time and philosophical the third time.
     
  22. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    lighthearted
     
  23. TiffanyAnne
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    TiffanyAnne New Member

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    Lighthearted for moi. Currently, I've latched onto books that transport me to any other world but the one I'm living in. So, for that reason, I probably wouldn't go with anything gritty, only because real life kind of sucks right now and I get enough of the gritty from watching the news.
     
  24. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Depends on my mood. It's the same was as picking a movie to watch or game to play - sometimes you wanna just watch some stand-up and laugh, sometimes you wanna sob violently and throw something across the room in despair, right? Or just have something to watch in the background, something to occupy your time or help you chill out to get to sleep. Different tones for different times. That said I voted 'lighthearted' because for a while now I've disallowed myself from watching/reading/playing anything I know is gonna be super depressing and angsty for mental health reasons, to be honest. It's effected what I want to write, too, and I think that's been a positive change.
     

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