Tags: catharsis

Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 11.40: Elemental Drama

Writing Excuses 11.40: Elemental Drama

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/10/02/11-40-elemental-drama/

Key Points: Drama as an elemental genre focuses on a character's journey and transformation, and how this affects everyone around them. Character transformation is elemental drama. Coming-of-age stories, descent into madness, whenever a character learns something and changes. That is the driving force that keeps you reading, how is this character changing. Drama often starts with a downward slope, but it does not have to have a tragic ending. Drama often has a catharsis, a release of tension as we experience the change. As writers, use progress, the try-fail cycle, to keep the reader engaged. Also, make the characters interesting! Many dramas have other elemental genres supporting it. The downward slope is often where the character is broken down to allow rebuilding. What are the beats in a drama? Tearing down or showing what's broken. Also showing what is not broken. Showing the moment of decision that starts the descent. Something that shows they can succeed, that there is a capacity and a spark. Often there is a character who shows what the main character needs to succeed. Often there is also a foreshadowing or example of what happens if they fail.

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[Brandon] Let's go ahead and give some homework. Mary, you're going to give us some homework?
[Mary] Yeah. So we've been talking about the foreshadowing of failure state, and frequently in dramas, you have a character who represents that failure state. We talked about the fool, we talked about the dropout druggie kid in the coming-of-age stories. So I want you to do is I want you to look at something that you have recently written, and go back and insert a character. Make them integral. Insert a character who represents the failure state for your protagonist.
[Brandon] Excellent. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
ISeeYou2

Writing Excuses 11.20: Horror As a Subgenre

Writing Excuses 11.20: Horror As a Subgenre

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/05/15/11-20-horror-as-a-subgenre/

Key Points: Why does horror make people turn the pages? Horror is universal. We recognize it, we connect to the characters in it, and we get a moment of catharsis at the end of it. We like to think that perhaps what we imagined is worse that what the author came up with. We want to know how it turns out and hope it will be a little better than we expect, but we're wrong. So in adventure, we want to see how they overcome, while in horror, we want to see how big the train wreck is at the end? Rubbernecking for horror? Yes, although some people want to be afraid, they want to be anxious. But still safe! You get people to keep reading by focusing on how the horrific element changes the story, the characters, the plot, the setting. Horror exerts profound change on characters, it illuminates and motivates the character. How to you transition to a horror segment? How do you get into the cave? Anticipation, dread, being afraid of the moment and what is coming. A horror segment can expose important points about the character. Don't forget uncertainty. And development. And loss of control. Oh, and visceral sensory details. Open the door to the basement, and it breathes on you. How do you hybridize horror? Loss of control. Beat, beat, stab. A moment of horror may be seeing the one thing that's out of place, realizing that this is a clue to something terribly wrong about to happen, and the emotional reaction to that. Look at the contrast -- horror in normalcy. Use the inescapable certainty that the character you love is going to do the wrong thing, because they have to. Horror can make the humor funnier, the action actionier, and the love lovier. Horror as a spice can set the reader up to really enjoy the good stuff.
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[Brandon] All right. It's been great. I have to actually cut us now, so that we can…
[Sigh]
[Brandon] I know.
[Dan] You have to cut us now?
[Steve] Wait a minute.
[Laughter]
[Mary] Wait! [Scream]
[Brandon] Mary, you have some homework for us?
[Mary] Yes. So we've been talking about using this as a spice, and the contrast that you can get. So I'm going to ask you to write two things. It's basically the same scene, but the first time, I want you to write it so that there's a funny element and then tragedy or horror happens. Then, I want you to take that and reverse it so that the second time you write it, the horror comes first and then the comedy.
[Brandon] The exact same things?
[Mary] The exact same things, but just reverse that so that those elements are in different relationships to each other. So that you can see what happens when you start flipping these pieces around.
[Brandon] Excellent. Once again, thank you Steve.
[Steve] Thank you.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Smile

Writing Excuses 7.20: Cathartic Horror

Writing Excuses 7.20: Cathartic Horror

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2012/05/13/writing-excuses-7-20-cathartic-horror/

Key Points: Horror can help you get through hard times in your life because no matter what, your life is better than what happens in that book. Reading helps prepare us to better handle stress and problems in real life. Beware of the didactic, but be aware that horror stories are not about the horror, they are about how people react to the horror. Look for the human story behind the horror dressing. "The core story is what's happening to the people" -- Brandon. Look at what scares you the most, figure out why it is so scary, face the things that make you tick, and then you can write a really scary book. Create the sense that anything could be lost.
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[Brandon] We're out of time. This podcast has been wonderful. Thank you both. I think I'm going to make our writing prompt the fairytale that is unadaptable. [Laughter] About the woman who starts on fire by getting too close to the fire. Dan?
[Dan] The modern retelling of the old lady who gets lit on fire and dies. Okay.
[Brandon] Yeah. Modern retelling of the old lady who gets lit on fire. Go look up that Grimm fairytale. [Laughter] Thank you guys all for listening. Thank you, audience, for listening through two hours of Writing Excuses. [Applause] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
BrainUnderRepair
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 31: Tragedy

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 31: Tragedy

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/12/27/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-31-tragedy/

Key points: Tragedy is powerful because of the catharsis or emotional release. Even if you don't want to make your whole story a tragedy, you may want to sprinkle tragic arcs in it for extra texture. Tragic flaws can make your characters rounder.
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[Brandon] Let's go ahead and give our writing prompt to Dan. Dan, what'cha gonna give us?
[Howard] I am sure glad he picked you.
[Brandon] You love it when I do that, don't you?
[Dan] Yes I do you're going to write a delightful story about happy, cheerful woodland creatures who are all horribly killed.
[Howard] You just described Happy Tree Friends.
[Dan] Okay, they are happy, aquatic creatures.
[Brandon] Happy aquatic creatures that all die horribly?
[Dan] Yeah. Okay, I just described The Little Mermaid. You're going to write a tragedy that hasn't already been done before.
[Howard] An anthropomorphic tragedy?
[Brandon] It's already tragic.
[Dan] You're going to write furry fanfic.
[Howard] My fur suit, the zipper is stuck.
[Brandon] Before we go any further, we're going to end. This has been Writing Excuses, you're out of excuses and so are we. Go write.