Author How do I write a sad story?
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I know the formula...

1. Get the readers attached to your characters
2. Let the characters experience an emotional character arc
3. Hit them with the final punch
4. Show the consequence

... but how do I write it?

I know how to make the readers attached to my characters but how do I make my character arcs emotional? How do I deliver a powerful punch? How do I make everything flow well?

I want to write a depressing story but all my ideas are about despair, psychological, or worldbuilding. I can't even write comedy.
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@DANDAN_THE_DANDAN
I don't know if this helpful or not, as i only wrote sad story one time in the past. Hopefully this can help and sorry for my poor explanation.

From what i learn with my teach and writing groups. Making sad story is a similiar to the happy one, but in reverse. instead of struggling first, everything was perfect before the tension came or the tragedy struck. But making it straight in that way also bad, so you will need to build the happy emotions by pulling out not only the present time, but also the good old memories from your characters while making the story progress as natural as it can and when you're ready in giving the tragedy gave a small foreshadow of what might happened later without telling when it will happened to ensure the impact from the sudden unpredictable tragedy. After the tragedy struck you halt both the flow and the progression of the story and focused on building the dreadful feeling within the story by showing how much the tragedy impacted the characters and the people close to them by showing their anxiousness, fear, and sadness.

a small example of scenario lost in the woods:
When someone lost in the woods, you didn't focus in the one who got lost, but the family who becoming more and more anxious in finding their family members, how the friends of the mc and people close to them broke their cool hearing the news. at the same time show how the lost person condition got worsened over the time passed. By putting more care to the people who close to the lost person and occasionally showing the lost person condition. the reader will responds the sympathy and empathy, while at the same time got dragged by the story.

Tl;dr:
- Build the happy times before the storm
- Gave foreshadow about the tragedy
- Make the tragedy as sudden as possible to the characters
- Gave more attention to the reactions of the families, friends, and others who are involved in the event than the MC themselves.
- Gave condition updates of the MC-s, but not as frequent as the families.
- Make the resolve
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Deliver a punch at the begining of your emotional moment. Then whatever you write normally will have much more impact, because the reader is shocked. Do a normal story, and suddently, revelation, one of the cast was [insert traumatic event]. Don't hint it before (you can foreshadow it but not too precisely), but make sure that knowing such an event took place would make the reading of the earlier story a little different.

Once the reader is shocked, you won the game of writing, their mind will see what you want them to see. But thats pretty cruel. I read a bunch of stories like this, doesn't leave a good aftertaste.
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@Haikaka I think that's tragedy rather than sad. Thx for the tip tho.

@AirenxVia How exactly do I write happy moments?
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@DANDAN_THE_DANDAN
Now that's a bit hard to answer. Sorry. i'm unable to answer it directly, the only i can tell youis this from the person who told me to write for the first time when i'm asking the similiar question, "The answer is asking yourself how you recall those moments, happy, sad, fearful, depressing. Just remember your emotion at that time and find the words to express it"

I'm sorry for my short wisdom in writing

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@AirenxVia Aw it's fine lol
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@DANDAN_THE_DANDAN
Personally, to me, tragedy has to emphasize a few aspects to be interesting. (Note I'll be specifically looking at tragedies and not tragicomedies because things like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Waiting for Godot are their own beasts)

First is characters, and tragedies require strong characters with clear motivations to work properly. These characters not only have to be likable, though flawed in certain aspects, but understandable, following some kind of internal logic or reasoning that is understandable.

Next, the logical events of the stories need to play off of conflicting motivations, relying as little on luck or outside factors in the plot as possible. Sure a story may begin with one pivotal moment to setup the conflict that happens by sheer chance, but the characters in question have to prove to be their own undoing.

Finally, tragedies focus a lot on Irony, characters who don't know the full picture of all aspects, and if they just had some piece of the puzzle, some small aspect that was within their grasp, then crisis could be averted. One of the most powerful is dramatic irony, where the audience knows the fates of the characters before they, themselves, do and watch as it unfolds before them. (Examples of this include Oedipus Rex, which has the protagonist slowly uncover that the plague in Thebes is caused by his past actions he was unaware of, and the more he uncovers of the truth, the more it causes him to be corrupted, or Halo: Reach where you know that everyone is bound to die before you play the game, and all that is left is to watch it play out before you)

Usually what makes tragedies compelling is small ironies, issues or misunderstandings that compound into larger ones, though these issues have to have reasons as to why they are unsolved, such as characters refusing to hear each other out, or a lack of means by which to communicate.

Honestly, tragedies and comedies tend to follow similar formats and themes, which is why they're so similar and why there's a lot of comedies that can be framed as tragedies and vice versa.


@Justforthelulz

At least it revives dead threads
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@Tamerlane
At least it revives dead threads

I suppose that much is true, though their AI could be tweaked to resurrect spicier (non-locked) threads.

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Make a sad story