When is it too dark?

Page: 12


  1. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    >Do you think this will be too dark for that audience?


  2. Tintenteufel (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I, too, think it will be too dark. For all the reasons already mentioned: Starting out with a definite moral event horizon and then escalating is asking a bit much. Especially from YA novels. I find hard to buy to root for mass murderers and I write horror.

    Getting back to the premise I'd back up TanaNari for the most part, with one exception:
    Governments, particularly competent authoritarian ones, can keep a secret. You said yourself that *fallen* governments tend to be leaky. And the reason we can look up nazi secrets online is because that (luckily) fell 70 years ago and all the other secret agencies rummaged through the debris left behind. Even then some stuff didn't leak until the fall of the Soviet Union.

    But I agree in that for this premise to work you'd need to go at this way smarter. False Flag Terrorism just doesn't look like the most efficient option for any regime to pull. Not when, you know, you could implant killswitches or just use plain old assassins. Have a government kill squad and every time a hero goes nuts he has an "accident" during a pretty normal "bank robbery".
    If you really want to use the "powers make you go insane" twist you could also play around with the line between hero and villain. As far as I can gather you still adhere to the pretty traditional viewpoint in the story of there being good heroes and bad villains. Why not shake that up a bit to blur the lines and make it more acceptable for the government to off the superpowered parahumans, maybe without killing hundreds of it's own citizens as collateral damage?

    I'd only resort to protagonists commiting mass murder that would get you on quite a few international "kill with extreme prejudice"-lists as a last option.

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  3. TheAdamBo (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Thank guys. I'll give it some thought.

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  4. LadyAnder (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Is it too dark?

    Yes and no at the same time. Yes the story could be dark if you write it in a way to be dark. However, I don't get the feeling of it being dark so much as your story needs work. You need more time to develop this because it really doesn't come off as dark as just poorly constructed. It seems like you wanted to write this concept and got a little too ahead of yourself to make it happen. Honestly, you need to flesh out your setting making sure that you have internal consistency. You don't have that as there are a lot of whys you still need to answer given how many are questioning you on certain points not only from the setting but from you protagonist to the motivations of the organizations in this world.

    I mean you have a start, I just think you need to clean this story idea up a little. Hone it, sharpen it, and make it as tight as you can. Then it can be determined if this is too dark. Because this just sounds edgy to be edgy to be honest.

    Edit it: And by that I mean, "let me think of the worse thing a bad person can do and let them do it without fleshing them out at all."

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  5. Kraken Attacken (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Dark is a bit relative, I think. When the Death Star was blown up, it was seen as a heroic move, even though thousands of engineers, doctors, janitors, cooks, and so on and so forth, were obliterated along with it. I think it's more of a x-y-z axis of scale-scope-focus.

    If it's not simply a collateral damage, Death Star moment of people obviously dying, but the focus not being on them, then it's not too dark. However, what you are doing here is focusing on the lives lost, people sacrificed and killed wantonly, and the morality of it all...too dark by half.

    Aside from all the great advice and insights given, there's just one question I have: this 'red thirst' (40K reference...hehe) that occurs...is there some fundamental reason for it? Is there some deep story and narrative or grand conspiracy at play? If not, then it will be very hard for you to write this story without most of the elements present seeming contrived. On the other hand, if there is some secret agency or entity in the background, then all of the elements present could possibly have arisen from it somehow, but you'd have to work very hard to get those connections to make sense.

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  6. Teowi (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    "It opens with the main character blowing up a building full of innocent people in the hopes of killing his target hero."

    The blowing up a building part, in my opinion, wouldn't be too dark. Not if you gloss over the details and description a bit in accordance to a YA audience. I've read a children's series that had a dragon disembowel himself with his claws in front of a large crowd (and talking dragons were the main characters). The description of the act was entirely absent. It was over in two sentences, and it made it into the book. I think the issue would be the fact that the main character does it -- especially in the very opening. It's something you'll have to figure out how to work with in order to fit it into your intended audience.

  7. GeneralRincewind (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I think this sounds like a great story, and I'll read it. The moral complexities just need to be appropriately fleshed out, the main character needs to be deeply deluded, fanatical or conflicted, and it has to provide justification for such an act. The MC does however sacrifice his ability to be a true hero. With an action like that, he'll be condemned to antihero status pretty much permanently. At best.

  8. justinwenger4 (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Meh. I think as long as the characters can still see what's going on it shouldn't be too dark. I'd avoid writing any lines that go "It was pitch black outside" "He couldn't see anything" "It was darker than a DC movie, not dark as in edgy or anything but like literally dark"

    I kid of course.

    Honestly, I'd only really throw it in if it says something. I think people only dislike dark subject matter in fiction when it's just pointless shock value. If it's the only scene of this nature in the story and nothing like it ever comes up and the event isn't mentioned then there's no reason. If it plays to the themes and characters then go and do it.



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