Re: What happened to tragidies and characters deaths.

#42
I think the problem with writing "real" tragedy is that it can be really painful - you're killing someone you planned to do something with. Most people writing a character who dies or ends tragically likely do it because they plan to from the start - which leads to a sort of intentionally tragic writing, which genre-savvy readers see and are ready for. It's also a question of what is tragedy, but to reel myself in and be a bit more comprehensible...

Tragedy is hard to write. Killing off a character can be done in a variety of ways, but the reader has to be 'prepared' for it. Not as in the reader being ready for a death, but for a reader being in the right place in terms of immersion. They need to believe you would kill them, they need to have that trust. They also need to care about the character. So there's the character death bit out of the way.

For the tragic aspect, while the definition is something causing intense regret or sorrow, I prefer to define it as "something tragic, that could have been avoided" which leads to most tragic misunderstandings not happening if everyone was on the same page or everyone could just stop for a moment. The tragedy of 2 people fighting when they could have worked together, or someone destroying the very thing they're trying to protect via the actions they take.

So writing tragedy is hard, mainly because most of the time the reasoning for it feels kind of hamfisted or not really present. But when you can write a real set of circumstances where these two characters must battle each other, then it really hurts - because you sympathize with two good people who have to fight. Perhaps tragedy is simply a matter of a character you are invested in suffering intensely, and it's simply a matter of forging a legitimate attachment to the character and forcing them through suffering that doesn't feel fake or just put there for no reason. I think I'll go with that.

Re: What happened to tragidies and characters deaths.

#43
i'm not a fan of tragedy novels so take with a grain of salt.

i think that "true" tragedy is something very rare because it can be palatable even to those who wouldnt normally touch it the genre with a 10 foot pole. Unfortunately, imo, most tragedy stories these days tend either towards masochistic tragedy porn (ala GOT), have no meaning at all or are just the result of an author trying to be edgy. In all of those paths, it all just feels so unnatural that you wonder 'what's the point'. It's the same with character deaths.

In my personal view, the best tragedies dont harp on it nor do they have complete downer endings. they carefully dole out deaths or tragedies at just the right times for the best meaningful impacts without overloading things and they have a hopeful silver lining at the end (even if it's just vague suggestions that things turned for the better after the end). They also humanize their antagonists and villains just enough that you really get the feeling of the 'human tragedy'.

I'll leave to Aristotle's words to explain best how i feel tragedy is: " “Most important of all,” Aristotle said, “is the structure of the incidents. For tragedy is an imitation not of men but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality.” " (sourced from: https://www.britannica.com/art/tragedy-literature/Theory-of-tragedy )

Even though i've never played it, and my knowledge only coming from reading the wikis and some fanfics, TLOU2 (whatever else you think about it) really treads that fine line of being tragic without overdoing it.