I wrote this post. Really. I'm half sure that I did not mental write it. Because I remember the way it looked in Blogger. . . I think.
That aside. I've noticed something in stories. I'm speaking generally here, so stories encompasses books and movies.
Long ago, when I was a wee little writer (okay, I was eighteen, but in writer years, I knew nothing) I had thought that a serious story was all solemn and nothing funny. And funny stories are never serious. Sometimes this is true. But in the most memorable and favorites of cases, there is a blending of the two.
In the Oddball books, things can get solemn at times. Yet the characters are always making jokes and poking fun at each other. Great hilarity goes down (or I like to think).
I used to fear that all the funny would down play the more serious side of things. They wouldn't seem so serious or my readers would think I, the author, didn't take these issues seriously because of all the hilarity in the book.
Of course, it could always go the other way, the intensity could over take the joke and it's not so funny anymore. That attempt at lightening the mood just darkened it further.
If you do it right though, intensity and hilarity do not contradict each other. They compliment each other. The deeper the intensity, the brighter the joke seems. The funnier the joke, the more intense the, uh. . . intensity is. We need both.
Also, when the intensity heats up, you will at some point need to breathe. I do at least. Sometimes I stop reading during the climax and just sit there gasping. It's absurd, I know.
The best way to lighten the mood is, of course, with a joke. Marvel is very good at this. Also, if you watch Once Upon a Time, season three was incredibly intense (if you ask me) but it was also the funniest season I've seen. I believe that is because the writers knew that they would need something to balance out the tension.
When I think of some of my books. They are not intense books. They're not funny books. They are both. The Book Thief. The Ascendance Trilogy. Pride and Prejudice.
I once heard an author say that she wanted her book to be an "everything book." She didn't want people to love it because it was intense, or funny, or romantic, or thought-provoking, or entertaining. She wanted to have something of everything in her book. Because books are about life and life has everything.
I hope my books are "everything books."
What do you think? Do we need a balance of intensity and hilarity in books? Do you have any favorite "everything books"?