Story Is Somewhere Inbetween?

by Alys

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.

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