"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why So Serious?

I want to ask this to pretty much everyone in my creative writing workshop.  Everything is so depressing in this class!  Out of a group of 15, I swear that I'm the only one who wrote something vaguely uplifting.....and my narrator is dying of cancer!

I just don't understand.  Literature doesn't have to be sad to be good.  True, you don't want to read something sappy, but you can still have an uplifting ending without making it cheesy.  But, I feel like student writers always feel that they need to bog down their readers in depressing tales that leave them feeling forlorn and empty inside.  Here's just a few examples from my class:

  • One protagonist is eaten by a werewolf
  • Two find their significant others dead at the end of the piece
  • One gets arrested
  • One commits suicide
  • One suffers a devastating breakup
  • Two are insane
  • Two stories are about 9/11
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.
I know it's always suggested that writers use experience to create art.  And I'll be the first to admit that I have so much pain in my past that I could easily dredge up to write something passionate that would reduce the toughest among you to tears.  But, why would I want to do that?  I don't want to make people cry.  Literature is not all about pain and frustration.  It's about conflict and overcoming this conflict, reaching past it.  But, I feel like I'm the only one in this workshop who understands that.  Halloween is this Wednesday.  And I really want to just show up in class dressed like the Joker and rant about how this class needs to lighten up a bit, asking them "Why so serious?"  Maybe, while I'm at it, I'll see if they'd be interested in learning "how I got these scars."  In the meantime, though, I'll just be sitting in the corner writing pieces with conflict and ultimately uplifting endings.  True, I do write depressing pieces now and again, but there's no fun in only writing the same type of literature all the time.  That's like only eating one flavor of ice cream or only playing one board game for the rest of your life!

I've reached the conclusion that people are crazy.


  1. Crazy... or boring.

    Are you going to post some of your work? Maybe? Please.

  2. Agreed, Steve!

    I'll try and post some writing soon :)

  3. Everything I ever wrote creatively was a joke. As in, I never wrote anything serious. I'm sure we would've gotten along in workshops. :-)


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