Created By: Folamh3 on November 26, 2011 Last Edited By: Folamh3 on October 21, 2013
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Creator Recovery

When a creator's newfound happiness influences the tone of their subsequent work

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We're all familiar with what happens when a writer's personal problems start to intrude upon their work - characters are killed off left and right, plots are resolved either in a depressing fashion or not at all and the worldview espoused by the work as a whole seems much bleaker than it was before.

But what happens when the opposite happens? Whether by dint of marriage, the birth of a child, the author finding religion or some other cause, the author now finds themselves in a much happier place than they were before. And, hardly unexpectedly, this starts to bleed into their work, which becomes Lighter and Softer and much more optimistic.

Just as Creator Breakdown isn't necessarily a bad thing (many artists produce their best work while feeling down in the dumps), this trope isn't necessarily a good thing either: feeling happy and self-satisfied can often lead to an artist becoming complacent and unwilling to push themselves creatively. On the other hand, a sunnier disposition may result in an author cutting down on the Wangst.

This is the Opposite Trope to Creator Breakdown and, just as with that trope, Word of God examples are required for it to qualify.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is a dark, psychological deconstruction of Mecha anime about loneliness and despair created when Hideaki Anno was suffering from clinical depression. Cue being married and recovering and all of a sudden we get a retelling in a series of movies by the same guy, called Rebuild of Evangelion trying to make the story make more sense and have less of a Downer Ending. Hmm...coincidence?
  • In-universe example: Ryu Shizuka from Bakuman。 writes dystopian fiction, but after his editor takes him to a cabaret where he talks to women for the first time, his main character slowly develops into a Mary Sue who spends most of his time with a harem of hot women. After the editor shows him the women were only nice to him because they got paid, Shizuka becomes disillusioned again and continues writing about how all Humans Are Bastards (even women).

Comic Books
  • Alan Moore has admitted that he was going through a period of depression and disillusionment when he wrote Watchmen, but he eventually got over it. Almost all of his major works after Watchmen (with the exception of From Hell) have been more optimistic and light-hearted than that one.
  • Cathy Lee Guisewite, creator of comic strip Cathy, often joke that her boss at the syndicate dreaded the day she entered a stable relationship and became a more secure, confident person. When just that happen, Guisewite chose to end Cathy rather than let it fall victim to this trope.

Literature
  • David Drake is a good example: his fiction after Redliners is less harsh and more optimistic, with a little more faith in humanity. Author's comments.
  • The tone of Anne Rice's fiction became significantly more positive when she converted to Christianity.

Music

  • Barry McGuire is best known for his depressingly cynical song, "Eve of Destruction". His best known post-spiritual-conversion song is "Cosmic Cowboy", an optimistic song with Jesus in the title role.
Music:
  • Pet Shop Boys' album Very was more upbeat and exuberant than their prior albums, owing to singer/lyricist Neil Tennant being in love at the time. It is sometimes referred to as their "coming-out" album, as Tennant had begun openly discussing his homosexuality for the first time during this period.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • November 28, 2011
    Tuomas
    Alan Moore has admitted that he was going through a period of depression and disillusionment when he wrote Watchmen, but he eventually got over it. Almost all of his major works after Watchmen (with the exception of From Hell) have been more optimistic and light-hearted than that one.
  • November 28, 2011
    MorganWick
    I suspect a lot of examples are listed as Creator Breakdown for the earlier, sadder works.

    Empathic Creator Work Relationship? (runs)
  • November 28, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion is a dark, psychological deconstruction of Mecha anime about loneliness and despair created when Hideaki Anno was suffering from clinical depression. Cue being married and recovering and all of a sudden we get a retelling in a series of movies by the same guy, called Rebuild Of Evangelion trying to make the story make more sense and have less of a Downer Ending. Hmm...coincidence?
  • November 29, 2011
    Folamh3
    Thanks for the title suggestion, but I'd prefer to set it up as a direct corollary to Creator Breakdown.
  • December 14, 2011
    Wackd
    Cathy Lee Guisewite, creator of comic strip Cathy, often joke that her boss at the syndicate dreaded the day she entered a stable relationship and became a more secure, confident person. When just that happen, Guisewite chose to end Cathy rather than let it fall victim to this trope.
  • December 14, 2011
    LeeM
    Inverted in-story in The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant. Covenant's forst novel is dismissed as commercial fluff, but after developing leprosy and visiting the Land, he begins writing more serious, critically-acclaimed work.
  • December 14, 2011
    Folamh3
    Thanks for the suggestion, but the above example would be an example of in-universe Creator Breakdown, not this trope.
  • March 4, 2012
    CrystalBlue
    Bump
  • March 4, 2012
    Met
    Barry Mc Guire is best known for his depressingly cynical song, Eve of Destruction. His best known post-spiritual-conversion song is Cosmic Cowboy, an optimistic song with Jesus in the title role.
  • March 28, 2012
    kjnoren
    David Drake is a good example: his fiction after Redliners is less harsh and more optimistic, with a little more faith in humanity. Author's comments.
  • March 28, 2012
    JohnDiFool
    The tone of Anne Rice's fiction took a turn for the better when she converted to Christianity.
  • March 28, 2012
    Alvin
    Just a note: I've actually read two mystery stories where someone thinks an artist work has suffered now that they're happy in love, so that someone kills the artist's siginficant other.
  • March 29, 2012
    donald
    in universe example: Ryu Shizuka from Bakuman writes distopian fiction, but after his editor took him to a cabaret where he talked to women for the first time, his main character slowly developed into a Mary Sue who spend most of his time with a harem of hot women. After the editor shows him the woman were only nice too him because they got paid, Shizuka becomes disillusioned again and continues writing about how all Humans Are Bastards (even women).
  • March 29, 2012
    Premonition45
  • April 23, 2013
    Noah1
  • April 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Great trope here, though the name could be better. Maybe something like Creator Got Better or something...
  • October 21, 2013
    MetaFour
    Music:
    • Pet Shop Boys' album Very was more upbeat and exuberant than their prior albums, owing to singer/lyricist Neil Tennant being in love at the time.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ef2wvx67xyfgmvwc3n5yc0ye&trope=CreatorRecovery