1. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Happy ending?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Shadow Dragon, Oct 20, 2008.

    Do you prefer stories that have happy endings? I ask because the ending of my story is bittersweet at best. My group of MCs accomplish their main goal but they lose a lot along the way. Some of them even lose their life in the process.
     
  2. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    Most of the time, no. I like sad endings best because they're usually a lot less cliche and cheesy. Bittersweet is okay, but it's got to actually have the bitter part included. It has always struck me as odd why so many books have 'happy' endings compared to how many have 'sad' ones.
     
  3. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Well I perfer happy endings as long as its not the classic good vs. evil.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I like stories with all kinds of endings. Sometimes a happy emding (using that term VERY loosely!) is just the direction the story was meant to go in.
     
  5. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like an ending that fits. That's all.
     
  6. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    for me personally i like to have a sad/tragic ending, bittersweet at the very least. although like AnonyMouse said if the ending is happyand it fits then thats okay too.
     
  7. Ennui
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    Ennui Member

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    Be it a gleeful or miserable ending of a story,the vocabulary and grammar literally need to emphasize.Some stories don't have a satisfying ending and it is typical and worthwhile.The stories are all allegorical.
     
  8. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    Have to agree with the posts above: I like an ending that fits the tone.

    If it's happy or sad I don't really mind, so long as I feel like it fit the story and wrapped things up. I hate it when you're left feeling like it ended really suddenly and there was something more to say. For that reason, happy endings are quite good because you can just imagine the 'happiness' continuing. But a well fit sad ending is always a pleasure to read.
     
  9. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I like an ending with a bit of a 'jag' to it. Something to show, or give a hint, there's a smidgeon of darkness hanging in there, just to blur the 'happiness' of it all. Bittersweet? Okay, whatever.:D
     
  10. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I prefer endings that are mainly happy, but mostly through sacrifice. Not necessarily "EVERYONE DIES!!"-type of sacrifice, but what's the point of a happy ending if there wasn't some difficulty in reaching it?

    My second serial had a pretty bittersweet ending (the MC got her boyfriend back and won the day, but only at the cost of the life of the beloved brother of one of her friends, plus the redeemed villain was relegated to becoming a lost spirit...it's too hard to get into...but basically, it ended well with some heavy sacrifices. The MC loses her mentor in my first serial and there's lots of loss in my third, current one as well. Probably also in the upcoming fourth.

    Happy endings are good only if struggled for.
     
  11. yellowm&M
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    yellowm&M Contributing Member Contributor

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    I prefer endings that fit, and to some degree happy ones almost because it almost seems unfair if the MC goes through all sorts of hardships or whatever and still doesn't win....but thats just me. However that being said i'm not necessarily opposed to sad endings, if it fits the story than yeah, ill go for it. I really hate when you read a good book and the ending totally sucks, i have a couple books like that, they are good but the ending is this stupid cheerful thing that is an absolute letdown.
     
  12. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    The ultimate happy ending is making the Bestsellers list! LOL
     
  13. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    I prefer stories with non-formulaic, interesting, well-written endings. yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  14. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Not particularly more than a story with a sad ending.
     
  15. runback22
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    runback22 New Member

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    I find that happy endings make me feel good about the story immediately after, but its the same ol', same ol' and forgettable.....Sad endings may not make me happy and it may not be how I wanted to see the MC end up, but it keeps me thinking about it for a long time after and I find that it gives me much more of an emotional connection to the story.
     
  16. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Depending on the story and, of course, the characters. One way or another, if the characters are fighting for a greater good, it would be really unsatisfying if they didn't sacrifice something along the way (not to mention bland).
     
  17. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any ending is great, so long as it fits the story.
     
  18. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I prefer bittersweet endings at the very least. I haven't actually written the endings to most of my long stories yet, but they are all bittersweet at least. And the novel I am currently writing ends fairly tragically.

    Now, that doesn't mean the last few paragraphs don't give some semblance of hope. To me, a sad ending with the hope that the surviving characters will take something positive away from the lives of their fallen comrades are the most rewarding and relatable. So both the endings to my stories fit this. Now both stories are radically different but family is a theme of them both.
     
  19. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    As long as the ending gives me a sense of fulfillment, I don't care if it's happy, sad, or whatever. I just want a good story to have a good conclusion, whatever it may be.

    That being said, most of the stories I've liked had endings leaning towards the positive side, and that's the way I usually do things as well.
     
  20. -NM-
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    I "Want" a happy ending, but i appreciate more a sad/tragic ending.
     
  21. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I prefer an ending that works with the story. Happy or sad doesn't really matter to me, as long as it works. And it has to be realistic within the story. I've read a lot of stories that end on a happy note but the endings aren't realistic to the story that's been told.. very annoying to me. There are bad sad endings too.. I think endings in general are just difficult to write. Personally I prefer to write an ending that is like a cliffhanger--makes you think there may or may not be another book/story to follow.

    ~Lynn
     
  22. Just a small smackerel
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    Just a small smackerel Member

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    As many have said, an ending that is well-placed is best.
    And sometimes, you will probably be able to choose what kind of ending you want, it can be steered in both directions.
    I don't think that many are turned off by sad endings. Actually, there may be more who are turned off by happy endings because they are expected. Readers love the unexpected. Or at least, I do.
    I know the current work that I am writing isn't going to have a happy ending, more of a neutral ending where it is neither sad nor happy. Just concluding. That's the main point of an ending, to tie all the loose ends together. Or sometimes just leave the rest of the character's tale to the imagination of the reader.
    There are many directions that can be taken. You just have to decide what works best for you.
     
  23. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I just remembered something.. my favorite endings are the ones that are such a plot twist that you want to throw the book in frustration because it originally makes no sense. But then you really start thinking about it and realize that it *does* make sense, just in a weird way. I guess that's one of the reasons I love Chuck Palanhuik's books so much.. I mean, Fight Club? That has one of the weirdest endings ever.

    ~Lynn
     
  24. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's it's real, it's not going to be cheesie. And the word cliche should be removed from your vocabulary.
     
  25. OneMoreNameless
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    OneMoreNameless Contributing Member

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    All other things being equal, most people (myself included) would prefer happy endings to sad ones; hence why most stories end happily. In the terms of an individual book, the most important thing is not that the ending is happy, but that the ending logically (within the story's context) and satisfyingly (going to vary between readers, general things like writing quality apply) fully resolve (otherwise you're left disappointed) and tie together (otherwise subplots and the like lose meaning) the story's conflicts. Usually the ending should fit the tone of the story thus far, or you risk ending up with something the previously avid reader personally dislikes, but I wouldn't consider this necessary; an uplifting ending to an otherwise dark story or an eventual failure in an otherwise hopeful story can be far more emotionally effective than a standard resolution.

    Incidentally, leaving a story you intend to be complete on a cliffhanger is Bad Thing because you're not letting the reader have the satisfaction and climax they've been expecting. (This isn't the same as leaving one or two mysteries unsolved or ambiguous, which lends itself towards realism and reader interpretation, but unless you're specifically writing towards an eg. heavily surrealistic genre, the majority should be.)
     

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