What Did You Learn?

October 9, 2009

General Writing: Lighten Up

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , — ax20 @ 5:52 pm

You can write about serious, weighty things without writing heavily. An already heavy subject matter doesn’t need to buried under depression and sad, slow language. Misery loves company but the people who aren’t miserable don’t want to partake so give them something more.

“You can portray weight by contrasting it with lightness.” This could be something like a beautiful day weather wise when something really sad is happening (like a funeral on a sunny summer day), having someone not take something serious seriously (for example in Book of Dalia where the character is very flippant with her life threatening cancer), or some innocence mixed within the significance (like Boy in the Striped Pajamas where the friendship and playing of the boys only served to highlight the danger of the Holocaust).

By incorporating something more lighthearted, you allow the reader to immerse themselves within the solemnity of the story while not weighing them down with it. (If a reader feels overwhelmed they may not be inclined to push on.)


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