Make 'em Cry!

Make 'em Laugh!

Pop-Up Submission this Sunday

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
Crying is good for you and I'm not averse to shedding a tear or two, as I always feel better afterwards. I've even been known to cry at television shows, where someone's home is remodelled or their classic car is secretly restored.

Some music churns my emotions, songs such as Mary Chapin Carpenter's Alone Again about a doomed love affair, and Tan Dun's soundtrack to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with mellifluous cello playing by Yo-Yo Ma.

People like art that makes them cry, whether it's a film, song, painting or book. I've been moved by the writing of Patrick Ness in A Monster Calls, Annie Dillard's The Maytrees and Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

As a child, I wept to such tales as John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Sheila Burnford's The Incredible Journey and Fred Gipson's Old Yeller.

As a grown-up struggling writer, I'm more likely to cry at the mystifying success of Jeffrey Archer—but these are tears of rage! :mad:

With my own writing, I haven't consciously attempted to make my readers cry, though describing the circumstances of victims' deaths in my crime novels would upset some people. The weepiest of my stories is about a man coming to terms with his wife's death by assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

What makes you cry?

Do you have any favourite tearjerker books?

Is your writing likely to cause readers' tears to dampen the pages of your book?
A beta reader said she laughed at some things, cried at others. Other readers, well, no-one's read the full thing, apart from police officer brother who likes all the police officer stuff and is tearing his hair out that I still haven't placed it anywhere. Counting Stars by David Almond. A collection of true short stories from his childhood. The gentle old seamstress who lost her love in the war and had a baby, who died. She shows the baby to this boy...the son of a customer. She has no-one, and knows he is to be trusted. She's kept the baby all these years, pickled in a jar. He has a name.

When she dies, alone in her house, her nephew, same age as the writer, and who despises her as a whore (an old family story about a baby born out of wedlock) finds the jar and shows it to the writer who says give him here. They fight, the nephew wants to show everyone the old witch's freak show, but the writer hits him and takes the babe and buries him.

Left me in bits :)
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Make 'em Laugh!

Pop-Up Submission this Sunday