By Wmpearl – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17718251
I’ve reached a point in a project where I can go one of two ways:
- go for the laughs — they’ll be earned laughs, but laughs nonetheless (not that there’s anything wrong with laughs); or
- go for the pathos — it’ll be painful but resonant and truthful (though painful).
Laughs are easy — at this point in development anyway (in front of an audience it’s a whole other thing). Pathos is a bit of a balancing act of grabbing an audience member’s heart and squeezing it just enough to leave an impression (and not, like, killing it).
A handy reminder at this point of development is to do what best serves the story — except that, with this project, it’s character-driven, so it’s down to how I best serve the character.
And if I want to serve the character to the best of my ability, then I must be honest with it, and see where that takes me.
… Well. That’s sorted, then.
(There’s a third way, of course: I could write both versions and test-audience the shit out of them.)
(Once upon a time I wrote a post where I said characters [are] only part of the story I want to tell — there’s something karmic going on here, I think.)