Post Reply Tragicomedy or Tragedy?
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Posted 2/25/16 , edited 2/26/16
I'm writing a book that I am determined to get published as an ongoing series of sorts. It's in its skeletal stages: still planning out the length, overarching plots, and the character sketches. With the subjects and topics I'm presenting in my story, I know that it will possess elements of romance, light horror, spectacle action, and humor.

I have to make a decision about its fate. At this story's conclusion, and at the conclusion of several minor arcs, this decision will ultimately influence the paths I choose to wind the reader down and it's ultimate end result. The tone is a very important part to keep consistent, so I'm trying to determine what that will be, but I'm at a crossroad.

A book without an identity for itself won't flesh out the way it's meant to be if it's still figuring things out halfway through. Based on specific details about what I plan to include in the story, I know that it can travel down two reasonable paths: Tragicomedy, and Tragedy.

Briefly, I'll define them both to paint a better picture:

Tragedy, based on its theatre definition, is a story meant to invoke an ultimate catharsis, starring a tragic hero with a tragic flaw and hubris. The antagonist (ultimate, not minor) is usually something larger than life. (Think Tokyo Ghoul)

Tragicomedy is a tragedy with comic elements. A serious work with a happy ending, usually blurring the line between the two, and focusing heavily on the character. We eat this stuff up at the box office and with every new issue of Shonen Jump, as it's become a formula that works most often with the population in our major motion pictures and generic manga titles. (Think Star Wars, Naruto, literally most things in the media).

This doesn't necessarily mean Tragedy by the liberal definition. There obviously can be lighter elements and humor interspersed within the more serious tones of a tragedy, but what is ultimately being decided here is whether the ending should reflect tragedy or tragicomedy. Should the ending be a saddening reflection on my main theme, or should it be a happier hopeful promise? Maybe something in between like a pyrrhic victory, where what was wanted was attained, but at great costs?

My goals for this story is to draw readers in with an engaging story that can invoke catharsis and an emphatic connection with the characters, so both paths seem appetizing. I can go the route I know that works and do a tragicomedy, or I can be bold and try a tragedy, (but on a lesser note at the cost of my mental health every time I'd have to write it). As I've mentioned before, Tokyo Ghoul is a decent example of Tragedy, and is my favorite series. I see Sui Ishida as a sort of inspiration for my work, and would love to emulate his success, yet somehow maintain my own originality.

I was wondering if I had possibly forgotten anything in my thought process. Maybe some advice, or even give me your preference so I can do a sort of statistical analysis of what trends as more interesting. Perhaps that could shape my decision. Share your thoughts, even, on what I spent so many freaking paragraphs describing, and whether or not you agree. I'll accept your criticisms! Thank you!

(Also, I can give some additional information about the story, but not too many outlying details. Wouldn't want to spoil any surprises.)
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Posted 2/25/16 , edited 2/25/16
This may sound link a bit of a cop out answer but when I write I go with the overall story premise and build a timeline. Once that's established I spend a long time character building histories, personalities, possible confrontations etc. Into a sort dot to dot/tree. What I'd do at this point would be a few example short stories and see how they flow if you're looking to serialise over a long period. Obviously It's only a hobby I used to indulge in and don't really have the time for these days. Hope the decision finds you soon dude happy writing. Btw I tend to favour tragedy.
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