full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Jodie Houlston-Lau: How to make a sad story funny

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Comic relief is a tried-and-true way of creating the varied emotional texture a compelling story needs. So how can you create this efcfet in your own steoris? Whether you use characters, situations, language, or any combination of the three, timing and ctaonrst are crucial. Take the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” This acinnet Mesopotamian tale is possibly the oldest known work of literature, and yet the story remains compelling today. As King Gilgamesh arohcpepas the end of the wrold, he walks into a bar. We think we’re reaching the climax of his story— only to have our expectations subverted. That brief respite allows the tension to build even hhiegr to a later, true climax. It both relieves and creates tension. This lseosn also applies to modern stories: by briefly lightening the mood, you can build tension in your stories exactly when it’s nedeed.

Open Cloze

Comic relief is a tried-and-true way of creating the varied emotional texture a compelling story needs. So how can you create this ______ in your own _______? Whether you use characters, situations, language, or any combination of the three, timing and ________ are crucial. Take the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” This _______ Mesopotamian tale is possibly the oldest known work of literature, and yet the story remains compelling today. As King Gilgamesh __________ the end of the _____, he walks into a bar. We think we’re reaching the climax of his story— only to have our expectations subverted. That brief respite allows the tension to build even ______ to a later, true climax. It both relieves and creates tension. This ______ also applies to modern stories: by briefly lightening the mood, you can build tension in your stories exactly when it’s ______.

Solution

  1. effect
  2. needed
  3. approaches
  4. lesson
  5. ancient
  6. higher
  7. contrast
  8. world
  9. stories

Original Text

Comic relief is a tried-and-true way of creating the varied emotional texture a compelling story needs. So how can you create this effect in your own stories? Whether you use characters, situations, language, or any combination of the three, timing and contrast are crucial. Take the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” This ancient Mesopotamian tale is possibly the oldest known work of literature, and yet the story remains compelling today. As King Gilgamesh approaches the end of the world, he walks into a bar. We think we’re reaching the climax of his story— only to have our expectations subverted. That brief respite allows the tension to build even higher to a later, true climax. It both relieves and creates tension. This lesson also applies to modern stories: by briefly lightening the mood, you can build tension in your stories exactly when it’s needed.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
comic relief 3

Important Words

  1. ancient
  2. applies
  3. approaches
  4. bar
  5. briefly
  6. build
  7. characters
  8. climax
  9. combination
  10. comic
  11. compelling
  12. contrast
  13. create
  14. creates
  15. creating
  16. crucial
  17. effect
  18. emotional
  19. expectations
  20. gilgamesh
  21. higher
  22. king
  23. language
  24. lesson
  25. lightening
  26. literature
  27. mesopotamian
  28. modern
  29. mood
  30. needed
  31. oldest
  32. possibly
  33. reaching
  34. relief
  35. relieves
  36. remains
  37. respite
  38. situations
  39. stories
  40. story
  41. subverted
  42. tale
  43. tension
  44. texture
  45. timing
  46. today
  47. true
  48. varied
  49. walks
  50. work
  51. world