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How do I avoid grimdark in my writing?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Kasper Hviid, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    "Hope. Rebellions are built on hope."
     
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  2. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    Never had much interest and never really thought about it...

    But having read this thread I am now an expert. It strikes me that 1984 is a perfect example of grimdark...a novel which is all about the raising, then the extinguishing, nay the annihilation, of hope.

    Orwell was a cheery soul.
     
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  3. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Sage

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    Admittedly, I simply used "grimdark" as a shorthand to describe that my writing tends to have a whole lot of racism, famine, sexual violence, genocide and suchlike. I don't know anything about it as a genre, really, other than what I would guess it would be like without ever having read it. (My guess would be something kind of like Frank Millers Batman, but with a downer ending thrown in to up the nihilism)
    Even though some of my writing is kinda dark, I pretty much always end on a positive note. Way back, I read a think piece criticizing the dreariness in today's entertainment. It was argued that while dark and dreary stories will make you appear to one of those deep ones, it is also something that is really easy to pull off. Writing something which makes a reader laugh or gives him hope is way harder. And I think I took this to heart. To me, over-the-top-darkness is kind of a cheap trick.
    Funny thing is, this post was prompted by a WIP short story which I felt was a wee bit to grimdarkish. But that's the good thing about short stories, you can try ideas and see how they work out, and learn from that. One thing I have noticed is that I have a lot of ironic distance in my writing. I like that style, but I feel I should work at writing something which is more sincere.
    Good advice. One can find inspiration the strangest of places. For instance, reading Leave it to Psmith really lured me into the trickster archetype.
     
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