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"The story doesn't take itself too seriously." : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

"The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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nhope
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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby nhope » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:53 pm

Meaning it has no meaning? If a person doesn't take themselves too seriously, what does that mean? No commitment? No conviction? Just whatever whatever? hm...

Paul, never heard of "jumping the shark" either.

(where have I been?)

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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby pls » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:57 pm

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DrG2
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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby DrG2 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:59 pm


James A. Ritchie
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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:41 am


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updog
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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby updog » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:48 am

"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:51 am

Many believe the decline of science fiction short stories, and even the slump in science fiction novels came because science fiction started taking itself seriously. Someone once said that "the Golden Age of science fiction is twelve". He was righter than he knew.

When science fiction stopped being about adventure, about a sense of awe and winder, and started being about adult themes with adult content, sales dropped immensely, and have never gone back up. When science fiction stopped making the very young, whether young in age or young at heart, want to jump on a rocket and fly off to wondrous adventure, and started being about explicit sex, what humans should believe, preaching, and plain stuffiness, SF all but died. This is why "sci-fi' is not only around, but far more popular than "serious" SF.

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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby Crono91 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:25 pm

Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby DrG2 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:48 pm

I just finished reading "The Magician King," by Lev Grossman. He's an excellent writer, but in the first part of the story there were scattered silly little bits of world building that made things hard for me to take things seriously. Those throw-away jokes were absent once the story started in full.
I've read one Terry Pratchett book, "Guards, Guards," which I thought was hilarious, but I couldn't take the story seriously because of it.

IMO, humor that comes from characters who have a sense of humor is good (if your plot is generally rather serious), but humor that comes from the narrator saying funny things repeatedly can detract from the readers caring about the story - - they just want you to tell them a joke again. OTOH, a stupid premise can carry a story if the characters react seriously to it.

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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:38 pm


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Re: "The story doesn't take itself too seriously."

Postby DrG2 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:35 am


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