D is for Darkness

My theme for the A to Z challenge this year is Storytelling. I'll be writing posts on what I think you need to create a good story; the posts will vary from basics that all writers use in their stories, to themes/tropes that I love to see in stories that I read, and that I use when I write.

D is for Darkness

Now, this isn't something that is needed to create a good story; it's just something that I like to see in the stories that I read/watch. I'm really not one for soppy stories. You know the type; all rainbows and sunshine, where the characters all skip through life and get their super happy endings with barely any struggle.

Don't get me wrong; I do like my character's to get a happy ending (although I am also a fan of the bittersweet ending), but I'd rather they had to really fight for it. The best kind of character is one who's faced darkness, and beat it. 

My favourite stories are the ones that are so dark, you honestly have no idea how everything is going to turn out well for the characters involved. Stories like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fullmetal Alchemist; these are among my favourites, and they all have one thing in common: there's a point, somewhere in the story, when the characters (and the reader/watcher) have no idea how everything can go back to when they were happy. You just can't imagine the story turning back from that darkness, but they always do, and that's the part I love; overcoming the darkness. It's a great theme. 

Those are the stories that stick with you, even after you've finished reading or watching them, and that's why I love them. 


  1. I do like fluffy stories, but those with angst along the way are also entertaining. I have to admit to needing a happy ending though, I am not a fan of the bitter sweet :). IMHO there's a balance though and sometimes the darkness can be pulled out too long, like Greek tradegy :D
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

  2. Yeah, I agree a little darkness is usually helps create a better story. Because we want to know that evil can be defeated, that bad things go away, and there's always hope at the end.

    Coincidentally, my post for today is titled "Diamond Darkness", which was difficult to write, because I try to keep things light and fluffy.


  3. I'm exactly the same way. Sappy sunshine tales are kinda boring. On the other hand, unrelenting darkness, where the characters get slapped in the face again and again gets tiring too.

    But walking out to the edge of despair can be thrilling, even moreso if you can find your way back. And the bittersweet ending, where the hero wins but has lost something along the way (maybe someone close, or just his sense of innocence) are among my favorites.

    1. I meant the bittersweet ending 'is' among my favorites.

      Today's unusually strange tale is: Dead End Romance


  4. I am finding the lack of a list on the A to Z a bit odd this year and that has left me a bit in the dark.

    Rob Z Tobor

  5. I don't mind darkness in a story and like it for reasons you mention. I want the bad guys to get their due and for the good guys to find some form (even if fractured) of happiness at the end.

    "Female Scientists Before Our Time"


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