No more drama? Yep, time for some comic relief.
How would you feel if you read a story about a child who was born with a physical deformity and was made fun of all his life?
But then he falls in love with someone that loves him for who he is until she, oops, gets hit by a car and dies.
Then, just for good measure, people make fun of his misfortune.
You’d feel pretty rotten wouldn’t you? You may even stop reading right?
Suspense, poignancy, drama, all these are very important.
But there is a time when you just want to say “no more drama”! Isn’t there?
People can only handle so much of one thing before they reach a point of saturation. This happens with everything in life, food, drink, relationships and especially drama.
That is why it is very important to understand how your reader will react emotionally to what you’re writing.
Give them a little relief when things get emotionally overpowering.
This is my daughter’s last day to live
Those are pretty powerful words, aren’t they? Now imagine having to read the whole scene.
You may need to lighten things up a bit.
Perhaps a nurse comes in to the hospital room, or no, an inept janitor comes in to clean up an overflowing toilet.
In the back ground we can hear him.
“Oh, this isn’t going to be fun.”
Meanwhile, the father’s attention is slightly distracted as well as the reader’s and…
The Mood Changes
But, then the janitor leaves for a while to get some more equipment.
Our attention is again focused on the father and his thoughts about his daughter.
Perhaps, he has been an absentee father and has missed all the important events in his daughter’s life. The death of his daughter is the only thing he has left to share to bring them closer.
“I’m not going to miss this chance”, he thinks to himself.
But, then the janitor comes back with a bucket and a mop clattering and banging around. Our attention is diverted again.
From behind the closed door we hear something like, “no way! How did that get in there?” After a while he leaves and…
The Drama Resumes
We see the father lost in his thoughts again.
He realizes that he’s been a terrible father. Not just a terrible father, but the worst father ever.
No, he’s the worst human being ever. Hitler looks like Mother Theresa compared to him. He’s really beating himself up here, ok…we need a break.
Now, the janitor returns wearing a snorkel and a mask. Perhaps he’s even got another janitor holding a rope tied around his waist.
From behind the door of the bathroom we hear them talking back and forth.
Perhaps one of them asks “do we still have that old harpoon in the basement?”
No More Laughs Or No More Drama?
Finally the father, in a fit of rage, goes into the bathroom screaming at them to leave them in peace.
“This is the last time I will ever have to be with my baby girl!”
The janitors leave, the mood changes, the reader’s attention returns to the daughter.
And the father returns to find that, while he was arguing with the janitors, his daughter has passed away and he missed his last chance to be with her.
He is heartbroken.
The scene is filled with irony and sorrow.
You see, by adding comic relief it releases the emotional pressure that is building up. But it can also add to it and make it something other than it would have been and even more powerfully dramatic.
Drama is great. But you need to know when to say “no more drama, this would overpower the reader.”