I know I’ve talked about this before, but I’m really sick of seeing writers who should know better say things like, “Tragedy is more compelling than stories where characters have a nice day and nothing bad happens!” without understanding why.
Tragedy is an effective story element when it’s a deviation from the norm. A character’s peaceful existence is disrupted by a catastrophic event that throws everything into chaos. The character now has to either develop so they can cope with the new status quo, or find a way to put things back the way they were. There’s a good story in that.
But when a character’s life is an unrelenting cavalcade of misery, another heaping dose of shit isn’t all that interesting. At that point, a compelling deviation from the norm would be said character having a nice day where nothing bad happens. And modern fiction is chock-full of misery porn, so by this logic, it’s no wonder the coffee shop AU is such a popular fanfiction trope.
Derek Hale getting a dog and putting his life back together is way more interesting than Derek Hale’s life getting worse for the 26th consecutive episode.
Creators like to hold up “everything is fine and nobody dies” as a sign that fanfic is bland and badly written, but if anything, it’s an indicator that mainstream fiction is bland and badly written.
30. things I wish you’d said
31. things you said right before goodbye
He closes the door behind him, and there’s not anything Courfeyrac can do to stop him.
* * *
“This isn’t me.”
He says it so quietly Courfeyrac almost doesn’t catch the words–wouldn’t have heard them at all, if he hadn’t been so intently focused on observing Feuilly, of trying to figure out what it is that’s broken in him and how to fix it. Feuilly knows as much; knows he should be grateful to have someone who cares enough to listen to him like that. But for once in his life, it’s not enough.
“What do you mean?” Courfeyrac asks him.
Feuilly shakes his head. “You didn’t know me before … before all of this. I wasn’t such a wreck, I wasn’t dangerous to the people around me. I was–useful.” Real.
“This fight has changed us all,” Courfeyrac tells him. “I’m very different from how I was before. That doesn’t mean I’m not the same person. You may have changed, Feuilly, but you’re still yourself.”
“Well, then I hate myself,” Feuilly says flatly, and won’t let himself flinch under the sorrow that floods Courfeyrac’s eyes. “I have to get away from here.”
Let me come with you.
“Don’t go,” Courfeyrac pleads. “Not right away. Think it over another few days. Talk it over with Enjolras, with Combeferre. They’ll have better ideas than me, I’m sure. They’ll know what to do.”
A shiver of nausea runs through Feuilly at the thought of Combeferre picking apart his neuroses, of Enjolras knowing just how deep the rot goes in his spirit. Doesn’t Courfeyrac know he’s the only person alive that Feuilly would dare tell even this much?
It’s not Combeferre’s philosophizing or Enjolras’s blinding hope he needs. He knows what he needs, but he doesn’t deserve it. He holds himself back from asking.
“One night?” Courfeyrac begs. “Please, Feuilly.”
It’s okay to be afraid.
Feuilly shakes his head. “Goodbye.”
He closes the door behind him, and Courfeyrac could have stopped him but he didn’t know the right words.
OMG, KAT. 😀 That was EXACTLY AS ANGSTY AS I WAS HOPING FOR AND YOU ARE THE BEST. *_*
(Only, DAMN it, now I want to know more about this au! XD I LOVE THIS. I honestly can’t words very well right now because I’m deep in grading hell, but seriously I LOVE THIS. *_* I hope my capslocky flailing is enough to convey that. ;D)