Interweaving Multiple Tones
Life is filled with humor and sadness. Tragedy and absurdity. Drama and dullness. Everything is a part of everything.
So my work reflects that. I think saying that a work should have x tone or be 'dark,' is kind of silly, unless you are going for a specifically genre-defined work. And I think it is just too restricting. I can write whatever I want to how I want it to be. So I have humorous sections and really tragic sections. I'm going to use book two, Harmonic Waves, as a primary example of interweaving multiple tones into a coherent work. How to Stop Wildfire really shows this too, but I feel like talking about Harmonic Waves, because I think it shows the maximum applications of my world's humor and tragedy.
I'll try to talk about the scenes generally, and not reveal too much spoilers, but there will be spoilers for book two, so please read the book first if you care (which you SHOULD.)
So the scene in question is in chapter 'Drops.' I feel like this scene is going to be one of those scenes that kind of gives the essence of the Trinity and the One's relationship and the dynamic and will ignite the hearts of CyclonexKing shippers. I hope they exist. I wish people would write fanfiction on my stuff. That is my dream. Anyway.
It is set in the Empirian equivalent of a nightclub. Our intrepid heroes are trying to figure out the significance of it. As part of it, they try to 'blend in.' Cyclone and King vaguely flirt and banter as they do. They find a couch to sit on. King is uncomfortable and Cyclone is acting suave and such. The entire scene is absurd---and it gets more so when an Empirian wanders over and takes Farrco off to dance. Cyclone reacts with shock. King is bemused. The entire scene is absolutely absurd and hilarious. These 'serious' characters are being thrown into a place where they are completely out of water in. The tone isn't serious either---it is a humorous scene and it is presented as such.
This is the type of humor I am referring to. It is one of the major tones of the novel. There are many points in my stories that have crazy/funny scenes like this.
MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR HARMONIC WAVES/HOW TO STOP WILDFIRE. DON'T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN HARMONIC WAVES.
But my stories aren't just straight comedy all the time. They are dramatic, full tales. Any compelling story has some tragic element to it. Some more than others, in HW's case. I mean, the first book was about the last of a race trying to find the weapon that committed genocide against his people. The second book is like a tragedy not in a shocking way, but in how it just falls apart. There are terrorist attacks at the base of it, but the real tragedy is of Cyclone and Jeytaeir.
One sacrificed his life and soul to bring him back from the dead against his will.
He leaves and the other is left to wander alone and rejected in a state of death. They are separated for millions upon millions of years.
Then the finally collide again, one dead and one alive, both on separate sides of an issue. Both forced into choices because of honor and duty, acting as proxies for the will of others.
Only one walks away. Both are dead though. The one who gave his life for the other ends up slaying him.
So finally, Cyclone has to experience the loss of a love of his life. He has to move on from it. The tragedy is that the entire thing was unavoidable yet completely avoidable. Cyclone's state of mind afterwards is also tragic, but I will not go into it. I think this is enough.
So that is a just a taste of how two tones can exist in the same reality. They exist perfectly fine because characters and people are multidimensional. People have their happiness and their sadness. The characters have these traits too, so their experiences follow the same pattern. Their experiences are the book, and there we have the multiple tones.
I might write more on some scenes in detail and break down what I was trying to do. You know, save people the time of analyzing them themselves. But I have more important things to be doing. Like writing more books.
Chartwekey, thanks for reading.
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