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Comedy vs Horror

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Splinker View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Aug 2017 at 10:07am
Taking flash fiction out of the picture, i think these two genres compliment each other, and many stories in either category can benifit with at least a little help from the other.

With that in mind, i think a horror /comedy category would be a welcome addition to the NYC contests.

If you also have too much time on your hands, I'd like to know what you think.




Edited by Splinker - 05 Aug 2017 at 10:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steph9289 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2017 at 12:08pm
I had a judge during the second round of Short Story that left this feedback on my Horror story: "I don't think you've nailed the tone. It reads more humor than horror."

Personally, I agree with you, in that humor and horror work together very well. Sometimes dark humor, for example, is absolutely horrifying. I was very upset with my judge's misinterpretation of the humor in my horror story.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote De Chelonian Mobile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2017 at 1:06pm
I entered a flash fiction contest last October (Halloween). The prompt for the contest was Horror/A Locksmith/A Pair of Dice. The judge said my story was too funny to be considered horror. In the judge's defense, she was probably right.

I tried to write an actual suspense this round and I hated every second of the writing. I would have been much happier writing comedy-suspense. 


Edited by De Chelonian Mobile - 05 Aug 2017 at 1:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2017 at 4:15pm
Yyou are always free to introduce other elements, as long as you write primarily within your genre.  I think De Chelonian's comment gives an excellent picture of why a formal category trying to genre-bend in that way would be difficult to define and judge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 2:58am
In my opinion, comedy can be complimented with horror quite well, a great way to lose a head is always fun.  The other way around?  I think you have to be very careful in a short piece or the comic relief can take over the spotlight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 3:12am
Originally posted by De Chelonian Mobile De Chelonian Mobile wrote:

I entered a flash fiction contest last October (Halloween). The prompt for the contest was Horror/A Locksmith/A Pair of Dice. The judge said my story was too funny to be considered horror. In the judge's defense, she was probably right.

I tried to write an actual suspense this round and I hated every second of the writing. I would have been much happier writing comedy-suspense. 


I think suspense/comedy would work very well.   As long as there is the real sense of suspense, it can be as funny as you like.


Edited by Suave - 06 Aug 2017 at 3:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote De Chelonian Mobile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 12:44pm
Humor works with every genre. (but it is hard to pull off with a few. Too much humor quickly turns Drama into Dark Comedy) The only issue is how it speaks to the judges. With humor being so subjective, there is always the risk of one or more of the judges not liking it. So it becomes a question of "Try and write to the judges" or "Write what I want to write". The more I experiment with the writing process, the more I lean toward the second. As writers, staying true to our 'voice' makes our writing stronger.

When it comes down to the original question of this thread, I think fewer genres would be better than more genres. The more specific the assigned genre becomes, the less room there is for creativity. However, I could be wrong about all of this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 2:17pm
Originally posted by De Chelonian Mobile De Chelonian Mobile wrote:

Humor works with every genre. (but it is hard to pull off with a few. Too much humor quickly turns Drama into Dark Comedy) The only issue is how it speaks to the judges. With humor being so subjective, there is always the risk of one or more of the judges not liking it. So it becomes a question of "Try and write to the judges" or "Write what I want to write". The more I experiment with the writing process, the more I lean toward the second. As writers, staying true to our 'voice' makes our writing stronger.

When it comes down to the original question of this thread, I think fewer genres would be better than more genres. The more specific the assigned genre becomes, the less room there is for creativity. However, I could be wrong about all of this.

If you're wrong, i am right there with ya :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 4:16pm
I agree with DechelonianMobile- the more I do these things, the more inclined I am to write the things I want to write - even if it doesn't necessarily fit into a neat box.  As writers, staying true to our 'voice' makes our writing stronger. Could not agree more.

I actually wrote a dark comedy - comedy + horror for the final challenge in screenplay this year and really struggled with how to describe it, since "dark comedy" isn't technically a genre on the NYCM list. I was afraid to call it a "comedy" because if someone didn't laugh, then I'd failed. I went with fantasy/horror because "I don't know WTF this is" probably wouldn't have worked....

I think the tough part is just not knowing how open-minded your judges are. Some of them love mash-ups and really appreciate the different perspective. Some, not so much. It's really the luck of the draw.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Splinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 4:22pm
I think last years winner used drama fantasy for their genre, so i am guessing it doesn't matter what you call it in an open round.

Edited by Splinker - 06 Aug 2017 at 4:26pm
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