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What is the differences between dark and edgy writing?
#1
What's the difference between dark writing and edgy writing? How do you avoid turning something dark into something edgy?
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#2
I think the difference boils down to how writers use literary devices and manipulating them for the story, and how believable and human it reads in the end. Often I notice "edgy" writers just. Try too hard to be dark, if it makes sense. I notice this a lot in roleplay on Tumblr. They would employ and use every tip in the "how to write dark fiction" rulebook (gleaned from YA horror fiction mostly) and give their characters brooding pasts, bloody histories -- the entire shebang. 

But dark writers know if there's too much of something and dial it down a bit or a lot depending on what you're writing. Dark writers know their stories isn't about shocking people from whatever dark thing they're writing. They know that they need to make it believable and human, even if they're writing about a serial werewolf killer in the Middle Ages. It's why you could have a million YA books about vampires but the ones that will always be on the minds of people is either the Anne Rice vampire fiction, or the Darren Shan saga -- because they don't just focus on the vampires, but the people around them, their lives, their emotions -- how their actions affect these and where do they go from there. Edgy writers focus too much on trying to make the story as dark as possible without realizing that a story comprises of a LOT of things.
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#3
(10-14-2018, 05:38 AM)Elio Wrote: I think the difference boils down to how writers use literary devices and manipulating them for the story, and how believable and human it reads in the end. Often I notice "edgy" writers just. Try too hard to be dark, if it makes sense. I notice this a lot in roleplay on Tumblr. They would employ and use every tip in the "how to write dark fiction" rulebook (gleaned from YA horror fiction mostly) and give their characters brooding pasts, bloody histories -- the entire shebang. 

But dark writers know if there's too much of something and dial it down a bit or a lot depending on what you're writing. Dark writers know their stories isn't about shocking people from whatever dark thing they're writing. They know that they need to make it believable and human, even if they're writing about a serial werewolf killer in the Middle Ages. It's why you could have a million YA books about vampires but the ones that will always be on the minds of people is either the Anne Rice vampire fiction, or the Darren Shan saga -- because they don't just focus on the vampires, but the people around them, their lives, their emotions -- how their actions affect these and where do they go from there. Edgy writers focus too much on trying to make the story as dark as possible without realizing that a story comprises of a LOT of things.

I agree on most of these points to be honest. Yet a couple things that I think is important about a dark series in work is that there is above all else, a purpose. A purpose that usually is positive, even though its not required to be for a good work of fiction.

In edgy writing, you get the cringe from it because you see the entire novelization/story thrown at you and it's just done solely because of the aspect of being dark. There is no message, no actual meaning behind what the story brings. The bad works just create that sense of "why am I even reading this?" and while it doesn't matter what ethos they invoke within you, it's a common feeling to experience in how every overly edgy story creates that sense of meaninglessness to it.

As well as in how Syn described the potential flaw of having too much darkness, the vice versa is also a problem. IE, giving characters too much of a positive vibe to them and then negativity setting in that isn't really impactful. That sort of failure in attention to detail creates that "rich kid whining about his mediocre problems" sort of edge unintentionally. Which I believe I made that mistake for myself in the last writing I've done.

So balance is essential, perhaps even the fact that both dark and light themes you have to the story need to be purposeful on their own. If one is not as meaningful as the other, then you create an imbalance and thus, throw your story into a bad edgy fit of confusion.
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#4
I agree that the aspect of dark writing boils down to the writer’s ability to convey the themes in execution; another point is how those themes invoke the emotions of the reader.

Dark writing, I believe, should invoke the reader on a personal level; unnerve them of the themes presented in the story—causing them to become uncomfortable, yet at the same time, their curiosity bested their unpleasant feelings to continue reading more.

Edgy writing, in modern time, is something pushed to the extreme sense of scale. Of course, ages ago, edgy refers to something that tests the boundaries of social norms and conventions; although I think dark writing covers those aspects well enough, “edgy writing” is not bad per say, as always, it’s the execution and the presentation that matters. Often time, in a series of edgy, set to push those boundaries, it pushes too much to the point that whatever suspension of belief become nulled, numb and ridiculous.

It does not invoke a thoughtful feeling in uncomfortable or being unnerved, but instead, creates a new distinct feeling of “I wonder how the author will top this one”. Either the author had blew their load on the edginess in the first few chapters (or thus, anything afterwards will feel downgraded) or have to one up themselves to the point of ridicule.

I saw an example of this of a reddit post, which I would like to borrow from (cheers from the user: H_G_Bells) on the differences between the two styles:

Quote:Edgy: He twirled the blade around six times and prepared to slay the villainous villain as he'd sworn to do on the day of his Blade Vows.
Dark: In a knife fight, the winner is the one who dies in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

I agreed with Vegetto on the sense of balance too; those are critical. Too many stories where it supposedly dark, often either lambasted the main protagonist with a lot of shit in their way; and often times, in dark comedies or stories, characters that dealt the blow often get away with it or the get shrugged off. An prime example of this is Whatever Happened to Robot Jones where practically nearly every single episode, Robot Jones gets the shit end of the stick and the detractors get off either with little-no punishment (and often times, not consistent with the shit they’ve done) or scot-free. It leaves a sense of frustration among the audience, and not the good kind.

I have no problem with main characters being dunked on by the universe—but the matters of execution is an important aspect. Shit on a character, said character should be ballistic (in this case, Robot Jones) to show that, at the end of the day, this is a damn Robot that can easily shred buildings.
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