I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but these do exist. I have some examples here, and some of them include movies.
Feel Good Tragedies
- Empire Strikes Back
- The Prestige
- Order of the Phoenix.
- Dead Pool 2 Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLeGWcVeIZ4
Feel Bad Tragedies
- Romeo & Juliet
- The First Law
- The Departed
- The Titanic
Clearly tragedies can sell regardless of what type they are. Your heroes do not have to win. But, I'm interested in the ones where you're excited and leave on an up note inspite of the tragedy. I've not heard much about the craft of writing a successful feel-good tragedy and moreover what elements allow you to have a downer destination while leading the audience to a happy emotional state. Note, both types of stories can be successful and revered by audiences.
- Feel Good Tragedy - A story in which your protagonist(s) lose, but which does not lead to a negative response or emotional state in your story's audience.
- Feel Bad Tragedy - A story in which your protagonist(s) lose, and this is upsetting for your story's audience.
Question: What are the craft level things someone should be aware of when trying to write a feel good tragedy? Is there a formula? Is there something at work here in all feel good tragedies that can be replicated?