Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#2
Edgy is just something done for the sake of cheap shock. It's a story constructed mainly to show you "Look how terrible this is! LOOK AT IT!"

Grimdark doesn't do that. Grimdark is a world that is terrible AND USED TO IT. Everything is presented as if it's the most normal thing in the world. The people are used to the horrible things. They are a matter of fact, something that's always there, something that's expected. Where edgy seeks to shock you, grimdark simply doesn't care about your reaction, at all.

Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#3
The difference is that 'edgy' characters are written to suffer and seem cool and special while they're doing it, while grimdark characters are written to struggle. 

Now, it's perfectly possible to write good and interesting edgy characters. Half of the Final Fantasy franchise is proof of the concept. Batman is edgy af. Where many authors fail however, and where the negative stereotype comes from, is misunderstanding how trauma affect people. 

Say a kid watched his village burn and this set him on the path of darkness and vengeance. In a grimdark, the author will likely focus on the trauma of that, how it affects them, how it influences their choices. An 'edgy' character however just.. does cool stuff while suffering, I guess. 

For example... a common symptom of trauma is becoming an adrenaline junkie. For some, it helps them feel like they're in control of a situation of their life. For some, it helps them by overpowering anger and other out-of-control emotions and return to a more baseline mental state. For other people, it simply helps them feel, in contrast to an every-day reality they've grown emotionally numb to. A grimdark would be likely to emphasize that the character is struggling with this and that the adrenaline junkie stuff is simply a coping mechanism

The 'edgy' character? Skips that whole part, in favor of focusing on how cool and capable he looks while he's pulling his super dangerous action stunts. 

Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#6

eric_river Wrote:
i think the difference is in the reaction that you feel
edgy makes you frown and grimdark makes your stomach reel
edgy tends to be a sort of inside joke as well
grimdark genuinely tries to drag your mood to hell
peoeating
You forgot about the combo sequence, where it takes the Best of Both Worlds, truly bringing things to its peak. 🐕

Yes, I intended for that joke. XD

Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#11

Haust Wrote: The difference is that 'edgy' characters are written to suffer and seem cool and special while they're doing it, while grimdark characters are written to struggle. 

Now, it's perfectly possible to write good and interesting edgy characters. Half of the Final Fantasy franchise is proof of the concept. Batman is edgy af. Where many authors fail however, and where the negative stereotype comes from, is misunderstanding how trauma affect people. 

Say a kid watched his village burn and this set him on the path of darkness and vengeance. In a grimdark, the author will likely focus on the trauma of that, how it affects them, how it influences their choices. An 'edgy' character however just.. does cool stuff while suffering, I guess. 

For example... a common symptom of trauma is becoming an adrenaline junkie. For some, it helps them feel like they're in control of a situation of their life. For some, it helps them by overpowering anger and other out-of-control emotions and return to a more baseline mental state. For other people, it simply helps them feel, in contrast to an every-day reality they've grown emotionally numb to. A grimdark would be likely to emphasize that the character is struggling with this and that the adrenaline junkie stuff is simply a coping mechanism

The 'edgy' character? Skips that whole part, in favor of focusing on how cool and capable he looks while he's pulling his super dangerous action stunts.


Agreed on this. If the only thing you can do is have your character brooding on a rooftop 24/7, then your character may be "edgy", sure, but your character also sucks.

Batman and Spider-Man's constant "brooding over a rooftop" shitck works because of the unhealthy coping mechanisms they employ to deal with their trauma. Batman is so paranoid after he was unprepared for a killer that came out of the shadows one time that he has devised plans and backup plans and backup backup plans for literally every conceivable situation. Spider-Man skirted his responsibility one time and lost his uncle, and now has a compulsive need to stop literally every crime (and is also shit on by the universe itself, and breaks the brooding thing up by being a fun jokey character most of the time). They've earned their edgy brooding time. Chances are, your character hasn't.

Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#12
Something else I want to point out. Grimdark pertains mostly to tone of a setting. Usually in such said setting people suffer with injustice with a lot of moral ambiguity. All the bad stuff in the world is accepted and expected. Characters tend to be of the anti-hero variety leaning very hard on the gray. Nothing is going to be black and white in said story. From the characters, their actions, and even the conflict.

Edgy, is a little different as you can have someone with edgy humor or there is an edgy character. It's more of character thing and an idea thing. And usually edginess is done for just the shock value and the edgy character is  as cool and faces very few consequences for their action. I mean it's okay, because it's cool and their edgy.

Usually I find edgy immature. Somewhat amusing to some people until you realize there is very little thought or depth to it. It's being done just to be done because someone likes it or they like the attention that it gives them.

Edgy is kinda like grimdark's little cousin that wants to mimic him but doesn't look beyond the surface level of things.

Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#16

Ararara Wrote: Edgy is, I think, way more childish and immature than "grimdark" is. Grimdark is more serious, "edgy" is more tropey, angsty, emo-teen who-thinks-he's-cool-but-he's-actually-lame.

Exactly. Edgy is just trying too hard while not knowing a thing about what one is talking about.

Unfortunately, the term is super misused nowadays. 
Nowadays, any stories that feature certain themes, such as child abuse or excessive gore, are immediately dismissed as "edgy" by a certain audience; while often it is the case, often it's not, and I think it's important to make that distinction.

Meanwhile grimdark is defined on rr as a "distinctly dystopian or amoral setting". This is more or less right. 

And this leads me to a punchline- a story can feature dark and serious themes and developments while neither trying too hard(and thus being edgy) nor making it part of a larger setting(and thus being grimdark).

Re: Difference between "edgy" and "grimdark"

#19

Avitue Wrote:
Kiebahow Wrote: Great, I wasn't sure if my story is edgy or grimdark. This only creating more doubt since it's also a comedy. But this is also very interesting. Edgy is a character doing cool stuff, while a grimdark is all about the revenge.
Grimdark can totally go into comedy. See: Ciaphas Cain, or Deff Skwadron.
Well, that makes it easier. But I think I'll hold off on calling my story that for now.