Angst, Angstier, Angstiest-- How Much is Too Much?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Lady_Moonbeam, Jan 27, 2003.

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  1. Lady_Moonbeam

    Lady_Moonbeam Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    A popular theme among the Jedi Padawan stories that I've noticed (I can only really speak for them, I mainly read prequels) is where the Jedi in question goes through huge amounts of physical torment and, occasionally, huge amounts of pyschological torment.

    Sadistically, I enjoy this.

    Angst is a staple of fan fiction--some of us just like seeing what will make them wriggle and what will make them scream, but how severe are the lines? What do we deem worthy of the term "angst," and what reaches Am's coined phrase, "psycho angst?" What is simply h/c? If a Jedi is tortured, and the story covers both the strenuous torture itself (while keeping within PG-rating) and then goes into the long, hard road of recovery where anger is dealt with and resentment comes at, oh, the Master not protecting his Padawan, which is the real angst-winner? Are they of the same level, or different ones?

    And, more on the pointed edge of the question, when do the angst-ridden situations in a story become comic because of their frequent occurence, or, Force forbid, boring (the curse of a writer)?

  2. Trickster_Jaina_Fel

    Trickster_Jaina_Fel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 3, 2002
    in answer to your title: angst needs to be kept realistic. it's not something you can just skip over or shove into just one post (unless it really is something that small), but if you stretch it out for TOO long it pulls at your brain. mainly, i try to mix things's a really thin line though. unfortunately, you only tend to know what "too much" is when you actually get to that point.

    basically, give your characters a break now and then...some hope and love, etc. and make sure it's not just straight angst - make sure that it's clear that the world (or galaxy) goes on even if it's only showing how awkward it is for the people surrounding the angst-ridden person...

    like i said, it's a ridiculously thin line and all goes on your judgement. consider the story line, how long the story is going to be, and just how horrible whatever tragedy you've thrown at your poor, defenseless characters really is.

    hope that helps even a little!

  3. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    True, too much angst sometimes just puts me into "Oh, get over yourself!" mode. Angst is negativity, which is of the Dark Side, which would be a serious obstacle to becoming a Jedi Knight.

    Use it as seasoning.
  4. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    Angst temperd with love and lightness is a good thing... When I write Anakin, he's chock full of falling jedi agnsty, BUT he puts on a brave face often redirecting things with humor.. agnst is one thing, self pity... *Yark*...
  5. Arwen-Jade_Kenobi

    Arwen-Jade_Kenobi Jedi Knight star 5

    Feb 9, 2002
    The line with angst is pretty much drawn when the whole fic is one depressing strain of 'psycho angst'. There's gotta be some hope where, even in a seemingly hopeless situation.

    But, as said before, it has to be realistic. Just having crazy, sadistic, angst in a unrealistic way just sends the whole fic outta whack.

    I love torturing Jedi (Obi and/or Qui notably) but I try to keep the angst so that it isn't the center of the fic. That there is some other purpose to this piece of writing besides angst.

    Just don't fall into the trap of an entire fic of 'psycho angst' and nothing else. The story has to have a plot
  6. Bimo

    Bimo Jedi Youngling

    Dec 14, 2002
    I believe one of the keys to a good, intense Angst story also lies in creating a situation that is not solely plot- or character-driven, but also mirrors one of the classical "real life" fears, that probably everyone knows or has experienced at some point of her/his life:

    -- the fear of failing an important test
    -- the fear of not being loved or accepted
    -- the fear of loosing a loved one/parent
    -- the fear of having committed a mistake which is so grave that it can never be corrected
    -- the fear of growing old/ dying

    and, and, and...the list of possibilities is endless.

    If people can recognise a certain type of traumatic event and therefore know how terribly real and painful these experiences are, they have a much easier time at forming an emotional bond with the characters. And the better readers can identify with the story's protagonists, the more realistic and touching the story becomes, regardless of the plotline or the universe in which the story is set.



    AERYN_SUN Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 1, 2001
    there are different levels of angst. the one i write about mostly is romance angst in my fics, but as an author, you know from reading what you have on screen, what can be deemed enough or maybe a little exagerrated.

    authors know their limits and when they cross their limits.
  8. Darth_Tim

    Darth_Tim Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 26, 2002
    Depends what you're writing. If you're doing, say, Episode 3, there's bound to be a great deal of angst, no?

    As for me, I find happy, fluffy stories, if I try to write them, bore me to tears.


    AERYN_SUN Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 1, 2001
    Darth_Tim is right. I'v written maybe one or two Episode II fanfics but a majority of them are Episode III based and full of angst, but only in the romance sect.

    But episode III are definitly bound to be more dark and filled with angst. before episode ii, when no one knew what the storyline of the movie was going to be, on ff.n a majority of the fics were centered in one categor (NC-17) but after episode ii, a lot of them became PG/PG-13.

    now, a lot of episode iii based ficsare PG PG-13 but if the movie itself is really dark and really good in that aspect, the fic will probably be much darker. i would say leaning towards R rating.
  10. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    I have to agree with Arwen_Jade's assertion: the angst SUPPORTS the main plot, it shouldn't be the whole point of the story. Or the plot shouldn't be cobbled together to justify the angst.

    It is a fine line, but when it's well done... WOW! :)
  11. Sara_Kenobi

    Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Sep 21, 2000
    A story shouldn't go past angst. There is no such thing as pycho angst, angstest or whatever. Using cleaver words shouldn't excuse going past the PG-13 rating. Extreme torture in films is given the R rating. Why isn't the same thing here?
  12. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002

    DB Jumps in, pleased to be on the right side of the fence for once....

    Actually, there IS a forum standard (a fairly liberal one at that...)

    It was hammered and bashed out before Christmas....
  13. Kyp_side_of_TheForce

    Kyp_side_of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 27, 2002
    *bangs a gong* the Goddess of Angst, TJF, hath spoken *bangs gong again*
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