Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#1
I love slice of life/light hearted stories! It's really nice to consume after a grueling 9-5 job. 

I love writing fantasy and romance - but it always end up so dark or grimdark. This is usually my face during the review phase: 

DrakanFascinating

I know that not everyone can write a certain genre - and I try. I really do. But it comes across awkward or forced. 

I just want to write a happy go lucky character for comic relief rather than end up killing them for being stupid. 

Back to the "writing board". 

Any advice or suggestions are welcomed!

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#3
Have you tried writing a happy character who's not stupid? Then they won't be killed.
It also sounds like you're creating plots where the stakes are way too high for a light-hearted, slice-of-life story. These stories are not about wars or political intrigue or anything that might fall into the grimdark category. The majority of the scenes in a slice-of-life story should be depicting the characters doing fairly mundane things, even in a fantasy setting.

Slice-of-life fantasy romance with various levels of comedy is kind of my entire schtick, so if you want to discuss ideas, feel free to reach out.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#4

unice5656 Wrote: Have you tried writing a happy character who's not stupid? Then they won't be killed.
It also sounds like you're creating plots where the stakes are way too high for a light-hearted, slice-of-life story. These stories are not about wars or political intrigue or anything that might fall into the grimdark category. The majority of the scenes in a slice-of-life story should be depicting the characters doing fairly mundane things, even in a fantasy setting.

Slice-of-life fantasy romance with various levels of comedy is kind of my entire schtick, so if you want to discuss ideas, feel free to reach out.
 You are totally right. The stakes in my story end up being too high. Hence why the scene starts to turn dark and etc. It def has to do with my writing style and how I cant seem to write lower stake stories or plot. 


I will def take up on your offer once I have a more rounded plot! Thank you for the offer! 

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#5
peoEsmile  "Muahahaha, now that I've written my character to be happy and half a good life I can finally ruin it wi-"

peoangry "WAIT NO NOT AGAIN"


In all do seriousness, though....yeah, get what you mean. I feel weird writing purely happy things. It feels wrong. When I try to write a proper scene of good times, I usually try to be as clinical about it as possible. It feels less forced personally when I can explain why the scene is happening and why they are saying what they are.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#6
Happy scenes don't need to be purely happy - a lot of great happy scenes occur when characters are exhausted from manual labor or difficult terrain, or are in detention or some similar kind of punishment, or one character was lonely/miserable/in need of comfort before another came to the rescue, or two characters are rivals losing their tempers in a non-violent contest while someone else is amused by this.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#7

NinaWrites Wrote: I love slice of life/light hearted stories! It's really nice to consume after a grueling 9-5 job. 

I love writing fantasy and romance - but it always end up so dark or grimdark. This is usually my face during the review phase: 

DrakanFascinating

I know that not everyone can write a certain genre - and I try. I really do. But it comes across awkward or forced. 

I just want to write a happy go lucky character for comic relief rather than end up killing them for being stupid. 

Back to the "writing board". 

Any advice or suggestions are welcomed!
Val knows this feeling all too well.  DrakanFascinating


My trilogy was originally supposed to be a light hearted one overall. Yyeahh…that took a complete one eighty flip.  Drakanflip

I’ve developed a bad habit of giving peeps hope, then smashing it into pieces. Afterwards putting them together with cheap glue, then smashing it into even tinier pieces, next incinerating whatever small fraction is remaining. Then taking those dusts, and putting it together in some way.  DrakanMelt

First book is a gateway, second one until the end of the trilogy? Nonstop rollercoaster. Hell, even the happier moments paves the way to devastating outcomes. 😐

At the end of it all, everything became so fcked, that an iguana is in charge of the intelligence division. Why? Because the lead devoured every possible candidate. Take what you can get I suppose.  DrakanWine

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#8
Ha ha ha ha yeah this happens every time I try to write something, both directions actually. Every time I set out to write something fluffy, it gets really dark. And every time I set out to write something grimdark, all the characters kind of gets this "ah fuck it, life sucks but lets have fun with it anyway" mentality, and it starts sliding into lighthearted satire. 

Maybe the story you really would have fun writing is somewhere in the middle? Like sunandshadow said, many of the best moments of mundane happiness comes in the darker settings where the little glimpses of light can really shine. 

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#11

Sake Wrote: For me, it's different, light-hearted stories are super easy, but tragedies and drama are difficult.

They are difficult in two ways: 
-First, if I have trouble taking my story seriously, I won't be able to write a good drama...
-...second, if I do take it seriously, then writing drama and suffering is very emotionally taxing for me.

Such a lose-lose situation.
Yyeaahh…Val can use tips on that. A current story I am working on? 


Well, Val is gonna be well…Val. As a result, it is going to heavily imply something. That the main chooses death in the end, which he can also argue this is a happy ending.  DrakanPotato

No seriously, everyone doubts me on this. 🤨

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#13

Edge Wrote:
Sake Wrote: For me, it's different, light-hearted stories are super easy, but tragedies and drama are difficult.

They are difficult in two ways: 
-First, if I have trouble taking my story seriously, I won't be able to write a good drama...
-...second, if I do take it seriously, then writing drama and suffering is very emotionally taxing for me.

Such a lose-lose situation.
Yyeaahh…Val can use tips on that. A current story I am working on? 


Well, Val is gonna be well…Val. As a result, it is going to heavily imply. The main chooses death in the end, which he can also argue this is a happy ending.  DrakanPotato

No seriously, everyone doubts me on this. 🤨


spoiling your fiction to get people interested, huge brain move
DrakanThink

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#14
Only darkness we dwell in. We do not find satisfaction in the material and nonmaterial. Only pain draws us closer, through pain we find joy. Through joy we find happiness which is pretty much the same thing as joy, but I digress. I in fact do not know what the word digress means nor am I awake enough to use the tab next to me to figure out if I'm using it in the right context, but I digress. Where was I... Pain, suffering, hate, these emotions show us something is wrong. When we don't feel them, something is right. You have to lose it all to gain joy cause in the end, joy, happiness, something is achieved through pain. One does not feel these emotions until one has suffered by the opposing ones. Those can tell the difference between them can grow, while those who can't end in an endless cycle of misery. I don't remember what we were talking about. It's like 2 am and I don't know what I'm doing.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#15
Take it easier and write about a character's internal reasons rather than external. Try to think of a story that's not about death, revenge, betrayal or war, as the easy ways to give characters motivation and tension.

Maybe try to practice with a short story that takes place in one room. Or a simple premise, like a hat carried off by the wind and where the chase leads the character. And character twists revealing that their goals are flawed or selfish are fine as long as they make sense, but try to make them constructive, if not positive.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#16
Everyone has their likes and dislikes. A pure slice of life can be more entertaining than something filled with action to some people. Slice of life can also have its own tension. No to the extent of a world threatening event, but smaller such as a breakup, parents divorce trauma, a budding relationship that just doesn’t seem to be working, or real life person events that can effect anyone. The difficulty here is getting people invested enough in these characters and doing that will earn you a win at the end of the day. Good luck! I hope I added some perspective.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#18
I can understand your pain. When I am trying to write slice of life scenes, I always seem to bring political inclinations in it and the characters somehow start talking about exchange of benefits for the country.

I think the problem is that a story has a certain atmosphere. Mine has a political or administrative or some people’s stories have a gridmark atmosphere. It’s really hard to get out of that atmosphere as you would go away from the plot.

The best thing you can do is in case of writing a dark story, add in some dark or dry humor with some dark romance if you want to. In case of my story, I joke on stuff such as economic theories or political ideologies and the romance for my story will probably not be your typical romance.

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#19
Make your characters peaceful, weak and amoral. Avoid making your characters OP monster hunters or heroes trying to save the world because their very existence is high stakes due to those things inherently involving life and death. Characters who are powerful and have lots of influence will make a story high stakes just due to how they have the ability to drastically affect the lives of large swathes of people which obviously makes the story high stakes. Characters who are heroic paragons of virtue will care way too much about things which will put too much emotion into the story. 

If you look at a lot of comedic shows then you'll see the characters in them tend to be peaceful, weak and amoral. The moral characters in the Simpsons: the Lisa characters and the Flanders characters, tend to be uptight nerds that exist to contrast the more amoral and laid-back characters like Homer and Bart. And the characters in the Simpsons are designed to be as far away from themes of life and death as much as can be humanly possible - they're just regular people. Then you look at something like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and all of the characters in them are either at most amoral or just straight-up sociopathic. 

I think it was Aristotle who said that tragedies are about heroic characters who are morally greater than the average member of the audience, whereas comedies are about goofy characters who are morally inferior to the average member of the audience. This is why a lot of stories will throw in a goofy and weak comedy relief character to bring out the comedy in their story as opposed to using pre-existing powerful, dramatic and heroic characters for their comedy. 

 That's not to say that you can't write comedies about heroic and powerful people, it's just that if you want to make a scene light-hearted then you should focus on the character's flaws and stay away from their strengths, power and virtues unless you're willing to portray their virtues as a flaw like The Simpsons does with Flanders and Lisa. And I guess if your characters are physically or politically powerful then if you want to make a scene light-hearted you could try to put them in a situation where they're weak, e.g. maybe they're bad at singing, bad at flirting or bad at gambling, etc. 

Re: Why is writing a light hearted story so darn hard!

#20

Sake Wrote: spoiling your fiction to get people interested, huge brain move
Who says I am spoiling it? It is just heavily implied. For all we know, they could be alive. For certainty, peeps will have to read at least my short story collection. Since they gotta know who a certain character is, in order to truly find out. 🐕

Which, who knows? It may or may not be so. 🥳