Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/10846-Come-to-the-Dark-Side.html
Drama: October 06, 2021 Issue [#10846]

 This week: Come to the Dark Side
  Edited by: Lilli, the Coffee Elf ☕️
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

I enjoy dark stories. I like reading about characters that struggle, worlds on the brink of destruction and in need of saving, words that go into the deep, little-seen parts of the soul. I like writing them, too. As a writer and lover of stories with a dark side, I'd like to point out what makes a dark story good.

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

This week I'm offering some tips for writing a dark story that's not just a black hole of death and depression.

*Gembl* The darkness needs to have some meaning.
What it is that makes dark stories so good? Perhaps it's the light in them. That may seem a bit counterintuitive, but it's not. Why do we like dark characters? It's often because those characters are broken people struggling against the world and themselves. We see them fighting to make themselves better. We like reading about characters combating tough situations because it inspires us and shows us that we can work through our problems, too. That's what makes darkness in fiction so alluring. Not the darkness, but what people can glimpse on the other side. The meaning, the purpose, the light.

Make sure there is a reason and a purpose behind the darkness in your story. Ask yourself: What are you trying to say? What do you want your readers to learn? Make it your goal to show the world something through the darkness.

*Gembl* Dark does not mean twisted, brutal, or gory.
Keep that locked up in your mind. It's important. You don't have to have a guy cut people up with a chainsaw to make a story dark. Or a story told from the POV of a schizophrenic sadist. You do not have to stoop to gallons of blood and gore and general disturbances to make a story dark. So before you decide to stuff a fridge with dead people to set the mood for your story, think again. Try for something clever or subtle.

*Gembl* Go deep and complex with your characters.
This is something we should be doing with all kinds of stories, but it is especially important when it comes to dark stories. People don't make sense under normal circumstances. We are walking paradoxes, natural hypocrites, and a mixture of everything that is both right and wrong with the world we live in. This becomes more and more apparent when we're put under stress. Reflect on this in your story. Your heroes do not have to be 100% good, nor your villains 100% evil. They each should have goals, contradictions, character flaws, deep, dark secrets, and some admirable traits. This adds a realism that is an important component to dark stories.

*Gembl* "And they all died" is not a necessary ending.
Some stories can end this way if that is their natural course, but don't just do it in an attempt to devastate your readers or the one living character. Death and unnecessary darkness does not make a good story/book.

*Gembl* Everything does not need to be wrapped up nicely at the end.
The world is messy. It often doesn't make sense. There are questions we cannot answer and problems we cannot solve (or even fathom). Don't feel like you need to have an answer and solution to all of the darkness in your story. You need to have a point and something your readers can take away from it, yes. But you don't need to answer the question about life, the universe, and everything. All that really matters is that the characters find a way out of the darkness...or at least find a way to live within it.

Editor's Picks

Caroline's Smile  (13+)
The exhausted face shattered into a grin and the image flickered out
#2129705 by Tileira

The Medium  (13+)
She could sense the spiritual, unearthly elements around her.
#1702140 by ChrisDaltro-Chasing Moonbeams

The Hoarder  (18+)
A woman discovers her sister's secret life
#2252399 by Blueyez

Embodiment of Grace  (13+)
One can never be too careful when dealing with beautiful strangers
#1633494 by EvilDawg - Vigilante Ranger!!

Soul Survivor  (13+)
Some monsters draw strength from a crucifix.
#900005 by 🦑 Davy Kraken

The Dark Spiral  (E)
Flash horror fiction about a trip down memory lane
#1974649 by Charlie ~ thx anon

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

From 9/1/21 Newsletter: "Drama Newsletter (September 1, 2021)

Comment from Quick-Quill
"I'm sorry but I only agree with one of the points you suggested. When I began writing the blank page was hard to deal with. What do I write? Whatever I write looks dumb. I liked the writing prompts suggestions and it's the best one to go with. Wdc writing prompts helped me more than any of the other of the other suggestions."

Thank you for your comments! Each and every writer is unique and therefore what motivates us will be too.

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