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Author Topic: Tugging At Your Heartstrings  (Read 866 times)

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Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:29:58 AM »
When you're reading a story, whether it be on here or elsewhere, what is it, when a story is trying to convey sadness, that really tugs at your heartstrings? Is it the mere subject matter, something like a dying loved one? Is it overt sadness and drama that gets you, or a slow, painful march into the ultimate sorrow ahead? When a story is trying to make you feel this way, what specifically about the story or characters actually makes you feel saddened?

Trying to master the art of crushing sadness in my writing, so any input would be greatly valued  8)

Offline Operative13

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Re: Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 04:35:07 AM »
There are many ways to convey that feeling of sadness. Denial, rejection, failure, solitude... yet I find that all of these have one core aspect that defines whether someone finds sadness in something: value.

Value comes in many forms. Could be something physical like a house or favorite trinket; or something abstract, like love, beauty, beliefs, so on and so forth. Depending on which parts of the story you wish to emphasize, the audience will find value to what you want them to become attached to, and learn to care for it when the hitter comes to tear it down. It's important that one instills a sense of value with the audience concerning whatever you wish to emphasize, as without it, the audience will find little to no reason to care for that thing when the sad event does happen.

Value is everything. Major characters will have more impact than minor characters. Characters that the audience adores will have more impact than characters the audience detests. Dynamic, well-rounded characters will have more investment with them than static, flat characters. The more investment an audience puts into something, the more value they see in it.

For example, take Daina Allens's squad from my story. Even though the atmosphere is already grim-dark and there have been squad wipeouts in the past, the readers care more about Daina's squad in particular because of the investment put into them, and therefore they are worth more than all the other squads in the story, despite the fact they suffer the same fate as everyone else. I'm not sure if that's a good example to get by, but hopefully that should set a blueprint for whatever you plan to do  8)
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 04:19:26 PM »
Hold on, they all did too?! Op, you murderer!

Offline Operative13

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Re: Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 05:32:38 PM »
It ain't murder if it's war  8) Although there are some who would love to scream bloody murder  ;)
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 02:42:06 PM »
You, as the god of your universe, are just as responsible  :ninja: (Not that my hands are clean either)

Anyway, thanks for your advice, Op! I've been adding and reconstructing things in my stories as of late and desperately needed to nail the feeling of sorrow and somber doom during a particular section of DbEG's Letting Go arc. I'm still not sure if my application of this advice is sturdy enough, but it certainly helped me piece everything together  :thumbsup:

Offline Operative13

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Re: Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 03:41:27 PM »
In my defense, sh*t happens. :biggrin: The only thing that should be an issue is the fact I gave Daina the one thing she'll ever need: Plot armour.
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

Offline Silver

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Re: Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 10:28:26 PM »
Honestly when it comes to something so sad it makes your cry imo it's the build up that gets you there. Show case a character and have their personality or the thing that makes them sad be a constant reminder in their character a lot times with darker characters they are loved after their back story is shown and their influences are fully showed what drives a character to be kind or violent and having a build up is good as well. let it show through out the story.