Prefect TearJerker / CrowningMomentOfHeartWarming :

Total posts: [16]
I'm currently writing a Novella about the aftermath of the death of the cool leader type of his group of friends. Most of the story is told via the memories of his friends, and family as flashbacks. Most of these are set off my a set of letter's he wrote for all his friends before he died, after he had a near death scare.

What I'm wondering is what themes are the worst/best ones to use to create perfect Tear Jerkers and Moments of Heart Warming ?

I have two of his friends who broke up reuniting, and his letter helping a shut-in, be inspired to start living a real life.

Any one have any other ideas for themes that will send readers on an emotional roller coaster?
[[User Banned]]_ My Pm box ix still open though, I think?
An accurate depiction
There's a list of tropes under Tear Jerker and Heartwarming Moments that will be helpful.

In general, I suggest anything that you can understand and write well. And something that fits thematically with your story.

edited 12th Oct '10 8:30:54 PM by Morgulion

This is this.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
As a rule, it's not so much the themes that create Emotional Torque as how you write about them. Try not to be too overtly manipulative - less is more, and readers tend to resent big, flashing 'YOU SHOULD EMOTE NOW' signs.
What's precedent ever done for us?
4 FurikoMaru13th Oct 2010 10:33:42 AM from The Arrogant Wasteland , Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
A small scene with the deceased just shootin' the shit with their friends goes a long way towards making the audience care. I really think it's one of the reasons The Big Chill has aged so badly.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Indeed so. Simply showing characters in a mundane, non-stressful situation can go a long way towards making the audience care about them.
What's precedent ever done for us?
6 pvtnum1113th Oct 2010 02:12:07 PM from Kerbin low orbit , Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
Well, I got that covered in my story in spades - mundane moments. Paying a card game, chatting over a meal, doing daily stuff. It's to the point that I'm afraid of killing one of them off.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
Also known as Katz
Resolve old tensions. Have someone finally get the chance to apologize for something he/she said or did to someone else—not necessarily something big. Have an old misunderstanding finally get cleared up.

Have them find out something about the leader that none of them knew.

Oh, and have at least one letter/event have a negative effect, or have no effect on someone in a negative situation, to balance out the emotional tone.

edited 13th Oct '10 5:45:59 PM by jewelleddragon

8 MrMallard14th Oct 2010 12:08:43 AM from Australia, mate
Well, you could have one who was harboring feelings for him. Maybe crying at his grave? Then he could be caught by the resident loudmouth jerk and, after some begging, Loudmouth Jerk promises not to tell anyone. Cue hug and brotherly affection admission from Jerk. Just a suggestion.
And I can't think of one thing in this whole wide blessed world
That's more dangerous and frightening than you when you get bored
Thanks for the advice.

I was already working with the jerk idea though having him go to grave and weep would be nice.

edited 14th Oct '10 3:25:22 AM by americanbadass

[[User Banned]]_ My Pm box ix still open though, I think?
10 OOZE14th Oct 2010 09:34:19 PM from Transsexual,Transylvania
Don't feed the plants!
Leave loose ends-things that the deceased would have done if they hadn't died.
I'm feeling strangely happy now, contented and serene. Oh don't you see, finally I'll be, somewhere that's green...
Whenever i write something I consider to be a momentous tearjerker, I tend to be very matter of fact about it. And trite with words.
The Blood God's design consultant.
An accurate depiction
^ Same here. Use clinical language instead of flowery description.
This is this.
Meta Advice: Don't label anything, especially not your intended tearjerkers or crowning moments of heartwarming. Readers will get the picture, and you talking overmuch about working to make readers react a certain way will make them feel like you're doing it to get more popular.

Not-so-meta advice: Tearjerkers and Crowning Moments of Heartwarming should be specific to the story and characters instead of something that's so generic you can replace the names and setting with something else entirely, and also occur naturally instead of some contrived tragedy. But be careful with the last one. If it could have been too easily avoided readers will bang their heads, and too much inevitability will have the readers cease to care since nothing could have been done about it. (I know there's a trope for the last one but I can't remember the name.)
The story's already based around an accidental death, funeral, and after effects of such, so avoiding tragedy is out.
[[User Banned]]_ My Pm box ix still open though, I think?
Well, avoid making it get worse too soon, then?
Oh I intend for all my tearjerkers to come out of flashbacks, and the heartwarming in the present.
[[User Banned]]_ My Pm box ix still open though, I think?
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Total posts: 16