Story Is Somewhere Inbetween?

by Alys
(CT)

Question: So this question is simple really, and I hope you can easily help me. While I was going along with you Climax and Ending, I couldn't decide whether my story was a comi-tragedy or tragi-comedy. Now it may seem unneeded to pick my climax and ending, it's still something I would like to know. My ending has the protagonist reaching her goal but discovers her goal will kill her, and lets it, thinking her death wouldn't be in vain. And then in the next chapter you find out that she didn't really die, but is in shock and dreadfully ill. Is that a tragi-comedy? Thank you for your help!


Answer: If the story goal is achieved, the central problem of the story world is resolved or the main objective of the protagonist is reached (these are different ways of saying the same thing), then that rules out a tragedy or tragi-comedy.

Assuming that's the case, the second question (again, expressed different ways) will be...

Is your main character better or worse off at the end?
Has she resolved her personal inner conflict in a way that satisfies her need/motivation/the thing that was driving her?
Is she happier at the end than the beginning?

If the answer in this case is "no," then you have a comi-tragedy, which means "good for the story world, but not so good for the main character."

If the answer is "yes," she is better off, then you have a comedy.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.


 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook


NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles


"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards



"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero