Welcome to Make People Cry!
I am putting this website together as part of a book project that will look at a very special type of story found in creative works—-stories that are so powerfully presented that they move us to tears. These stories are found in books, movies, television shows, speeches, music, and even comic strips and commercials, among many other works.
I am going to try and analyze the elements of such stories. What happens in these stories? What types of characters and what levels of connection with the characters are necessary? How much build-up of back story is necessary? What are the various subjective and objective elements that create any one individual’s reaction to the story? How do such requirements differ among genres of creative works? What combinations of audio-visual elements are capable of eliciting tears? Is there truly a “formula” that can be applied to creating moving stories?
I’m asking these questions and many more because there really is a wide range of stories that can make people cry. Sometimes the stories require a whole season of episodes to hit you, sometimes they require only seconds. Sometimes these are happy tears. Joy at someone’s success, or their overcoming of some incredible struggle in their life. More often they are sad tears. Sadness or heartbreak because of death or parting. Every once in the while they are tears of beauty. Words or images so stunning and evocative that they move us in some ineffable way. Sometimes stories that will have one person bawling at the merest thought of them will not move another person’s heart in any way.
I want to look at all of these different types of stories, and I also want to provoke discussion among my readers. What do you find moving in any particular story? What are you unconvinced by and what do you think the secret to writing a moving scene is?
I’ve chosen to focus on the emotions that cause physical tears because, as emotions go, these are more rarely seen than those that provoke amusement or laughter, or other happier responses. For instance, there are many movies out there that provide a cheap laugh, but there are a good deal fewer that will connect you so strongly to its characters or events that you find yourself wiping your eyes before the end of it. While creative works that generate such a moving connection may not be the best you have ever seen or heard, you are nevertheless forced to admit that you have been touched and lifted out of your own life for at least those few moments.
So please enjoy your time on this blog, you might find a few stories that will stick with you for a long time, and you might learn a little about how to create them for others.