|Drama: September 16, 2020 Issue [#10360]|
This week: Satire in Dramatic Fiction Edited by: Joy The Masked Ghoul
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“Invisible things are the only realities.”
Edgar Allan Poe, Loss of Breath
“When asked, "Why do you always wear black?", he said, "I am mourning for my life.”
“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hello, I am Joy The Masked Ghoul , this week's drama editor. This issue is about inserting satire into our more serious writing.
Thank you for reading our newsletters and for supplying the editors with feedback and encouragement.
Welcome to the Drama newsletter
Ever since I began reading, satirical writing had my attention. This year, for a reading project, I picked all Dickens’s novels. His satire can be so subtle that having read a novel or two by him earlier, I hadn’t noticed the immensity of his gift for satire, which he so deftly places inside his fiction. Dickens presents the reader with a constant battle between good and evil, and his satire never steals the attention from the main theme or other elements.
“He appeared to enjoy beyond everything the sound of his own voice. I couldn't wonder at that, for it was mellow and full and gave great importance to every word he uttered. He listened to himself with obvious satisfaction and sometimes gently beat time to his own music with his head or rounded a sentence with his hand.” This quote is from Bleak House, Chapter III, page 6, in description of Mr. Kenge. If you search into the book and read around this quote, you’ll see how skillfully Dickens has placed his character description without taking away from the flow of his fiction.
True satire is astute even though it hasn’t always been considered honorable by the critics. Still, it has to be the most ancient art as the humor’s sub-genre, as it can create drama while it certainly gets the readers’ attention on the point that is being made.
To begin with, situations may get stale, but satire doesn’t. It may be considered as fake news somewhat, but there is nothing fake in the human conditions it points to. Remember Aristophanes from two plus millenniums ago? “Open your mind before your mouth!” Doesn’t this quote from his Clouds still apply to some of us?
So, how do we best use this satire tool in our fiction? My go-to, number one way is learning and paying attention to human psychology and especially that of myself. What follows my human-psychology idea may be these tips:
Finding the comedic and ironic elements in the most serious and dramatic characters. Don’t worry we all have our oddities. You just have to see them.
While thinking of and creating a scene, background, or a situation, list all your opinions about them in short sentences, such as, “She’s his attack dog,” or “excess hedonism in this scene is unethical,” or “stolen office products point to his morality of immorality” or “this society disguises surveillance as care.” From such opinions, you can always find a path that will direct you to the satire in any element of fiction.
To enhance the drama, feel free to use the principles of humor but in subtle ways, such as physical humor ▼ , analogy ▼ , irony ▼ , reference ▼ , shock ▼ , hyperbole ▼ , parody ▼ , etc.
Satire allows us to escape the constrictions society places on us by mocking the weaknesses or similar characteristics of a person or element in living, thus bringing it to the forefront of our thinking. Bertolt Brecht of German theater used satire in many of his plays for political purposes as effective satire has the ability to bring the weaknesses of others or a system to the audience’s attention .
A satiric attack not only sets up a few moral or emotional victories for us, but also adds to the unity and enjoyment of a dramatic piece. The key touches have to do with subtlety and blending it into the fiction in an effective way. So, let us try to expand our writing repertoire by adding satire into our dramatic stories.
Until next time!
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This Issue's Tip: Don't ever load the reader's mind with expository facts or background. They ruin the momentum and may cause the reading to stop.
Feedback for "Out of Character"
Beacon-Skull Pumpkin 🎃
I do like reading your newsletter and it gives a lot of good information so I can keep writing. I won't ever give up but I know, I would need to take a break to look for some inspiration for my writing.
Thank you for the feedback. I hope you do find the inspiration you seek as it can be just about everywhere.
Thank you so much for highlighting my story, Evil Intentions. It was one I’d not visited for sometime. I really enjoyed reading it again. 🤣
It helps to look back on our old works. I sometimes forget about them, too, until someone sends a review.
Thanks so much for the mention of 'Whiteout'!
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