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Mood Whiplash, making it platable.:
I hear a lot of complaints about badly done mood whiplash, so here goes: I've got an Alternate History WWII work that functions as an action-comedy-drama, and I'm trying not to make it fall too far into Cerebrus Syndrome, but when stuff like the Holocaust and war crimes from both sides start hopping in, I don't feel like it's something you should juxtapose with sarcastic powered armor soldiers, moe PMC members, and characters that would feel more in place in an anime or video game than in real life. I may just split the series in two, since, for starters, this work transitions between "the two comedy reliefs hijack a boat and dance around to 'Boats and Hoes'" to "tense firefight on a nearby Nazi carrier" to "Some German sailors sacrifice themselves in a somber scene". It gets worse from there.
One way you can do Mood Whiplash well, I think, is to use it to make the sad stuff more poignant.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
You can also use more lighthearted scenes to give the readers a chance to catch their breath.
Shift the overall mood in transitioning increments. Although you might have one scene of comedy, and another scene of drama right after, make it so that the tone of the whole act (or the whole picture, if you catch my drift) follows through cleanly. It is a fine line between having mood whiplash taken in by the reader on its terms, and the reader going "What the fuck am I reading, fuck this shit—" Try having a look at Good Fellas, or Catch-22 as an example. It seems you're working up a Dramedy.
edited 14th Oct '10 10:16:27 PM by QQQQQ
Yeah, it's more or less "Hahaha, HOLY FUCK". It wasn't even intended that way. Most of the "funny" stuff gets delivered in short bursts or leads up to one long gag, to try and punctuate "calm" scenes.
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