Lately I've been hearing more and more from readers about writing "weepy", or "weepy", fiction.
As you understand, no such genre exists in any classification. But I suddenly wondered: what if there was? After all, someone invented boyar anime and even described it!
In my case, the hardest part was determining exactly how my "weepy" fiction differed from sentimental, romantic fiction. And this is what I came to when I did a little analysis.
I'm going to go in from afar. I will identify what features of my work make it "weepy". I see it this way:
- In my books, it is imperative that the characters are placed in credible conditions. Either historically believable or medically believable. A character's personal suffering or the suffering of someone close to them is also believable.
- I usually have complete fiction in the fantasy genre. But as a result of the reasons listed in point 1, this fiction forces the reader to empathize with the character, to immerse themselves in it.
Now I'll come at it from the other side and try to understand how my "weepy" fiction differs from ordinary sentimental fiction.
Sentimental fiction assumes a main romantic line, which is based on love or, less frequently, family. The focus here is on the feelings, experiences and emotions of the protagonists. The reader experiences the whole gamut along with them.
Does it hold up for me? Yes and no. More often than not, love appears one way or another, but it doesn't become the basis. The basis of my books is suffering - concentration camp, war, famine, disease. I make the bibliophile walk the path of nightmare with the hero. A real one. Socially relevant. Unfictional. Romantic fiction does not intend to detail this kind of suffering, although I don't dispute that it can be a backdrop. And yet the main thing there, no matter what's going on around it, is love, the personal experience of a particular person.
Let me show you what I mean by a few examples of my books.
«Мэйделе». There is a romantic line in this work. Is it a leitmotif? No. It's her mother who comes first for Meidele. Can this be stretched to the template of sentimentality? You can, like an owl on a globe, but you can. It's a family story. Yes. But the point isn't that Madeleine loves her mother. It's about something else entirely. It's the heroism of a girl saving lives. Yes, willing to do anything for her mum, but is that so weird? It's actually the norm to love your mum. So this is a sentimental book, even though there is a relationship and something to sob over, in my opinion, it doesn't drag..
Tauris worlds. The book «Шесть цифр». In the story, two heroes in their bodies (I love this case) get to Auschwitz and back. They are lucky: they survive. Love also appears, but it's not the leitmotif here either. The basis of the work is that the two find their people, ready to protect them. There is also a clear message: we must not forget the past. Why does everyone in Israel knows Yad Vashem and not the Red Bank in Russia? It turns out that we want to weep over history, but it is not romantic. Romantic is not the point, is it?
Third example. The novel «Личный опыт». There's plenty of love here too. But at the centre of the story is a doctor who tries out what his patients are experiencing. It makes him a kinder person. It makes you weep to see what children going through when faced with adversity are going through. And the kindness.
In «The Small Heart» in fact, it's pure romance with a fairy tale. Only there is a nuance. The girl knows that every day could be her last. Tears... tears...
«Память»...That's the scary thing in itself. The creepy thing is, there's not much romance, but... not much fiction, either. It really was.
Here I come close to what I could have said briefly, but it might not have been fully understood.
People cry over what really was on Earth. Or is right now. They cry over the truth. Which means that truth is the foundation of "weeping" fiction. And then there's adventure, romance, sentiment, whatever you want..