How do you tell a joke about something serious and make it funny? This is something I’ve been pondering lately, because I’m gearing up to write an epic story involving both drama and humour.1 It’s what my father called mixing the ridiculous with the sublime. Or rather, not mixing the ridiculous with the sublime.
In a story, starting a fight is an easy way to make the mood tense. But conflict can do more than just make a story feel tense, suspenseful. Conflict engages the audience. It makes us sympathize with the characters and root for them. And it heightens other emotions in the story.
This is the second part of a series, after Setting the Mood With Expectations. Another mood-generating device authors use is milieu.
How do you write moody stories? How do you imbue your prose with overwhelming emotion? It’s all about manipulating the feelings of the audience. Over the next couple of weeks, I want to look at different ways to set the mood. This week, using expectations to set the mood.