1. stormr
    Offline

    stormr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    plainwell, mi

    happy or unhappy ending?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by stormr, Mar 16, 2014.

    I'm writing a scifi story, actually it's part 2 to another short story I wrote, and i am torn on which way to go for the ending. Basically in a nutshell, we have two girls, on is the MC, the other was actually a clone of the MC wich is part alien and the MC gave birth to her. They are escentially the same person, the clone version was born full grown, looks just like her, and has all her memories and feelings. This aids much in the final plot due to she aslo has an alien force that has been controlling her actions.

    Now on to the ending, after the big finally is over, the alien force has been removed from the MC clone. Now what? I want to write that they both go back to earth and live together as a family. But I am kind of biased on that because I fell in love with the MC as I was writing the story, and now have the same feelings towards the clone of her, because of her actions and it may be a bit cliche, but in saving the earth from destruction.

    I can go one of several ways here, the first as mentioned they both come back to earth and live as a family, like sisters (twins I am thinking). Or I can have the clone version die, either after the battle with the alien force (the MC holds her as she dies, sad ending). Or she can realize she has no real place on earth, and either stays on the planet they're on, or go to the origina planet that the alien force was from and try to stop them from doing it again to someone else (could turn into another story that way). Or the twist style and have the MC switch with her clone, and let her clone live back on earth as her and live her normal happy life, while the MC either stays on the planet, or goes to the origin planet.

    I must mention that the MC is not an action kind of girl, she was simply a college student when all this went down, but got tied into the mess due to how she was born in the first story.

    Thanks for any suggestions people.

    --Stormr
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Which ending do you think fits better? Go with that one.
     
  3. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I always prefer a happy ending, maybe a little bittersweet or ambiguous, but never downright depressing. Not my cup of tea.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Which story do you want to write? Either is valid.
     
  5. Glen Snow
    Offline

    Glen Snow Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Write both. Figure out which you like better, maybe have beta testers read both, decide which flows more naturally. Keep the other as your own private alternate ending.
     
    vera2014 likes this.
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    this!
     
  7. Gemini_Genie
    Offline

    Gemini_Genie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Columbus, Georgia
    Like everyone is saying above it really all depends on which ending you think is better.

    I would suggest the sad ending if I had to pick one though. You could use it to teach a lesson to the reader. I don't know what the relationship is like between your MC and her clone, but brothers and sisters are almost always at each others throats in real life. Especially when they're young. As they get older and learn things about one another it gets better, but there is always that underlying resentment I think. At least until something happens to one of the siblings. The other realizes how important the other was to them upon their death--a sad time to finally realize you love your sister or brother.

    Yeah I'd go with that. Impress the importance of family on the reader by a tragic death. :)
     
  8. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I agree with the others. It depends on what kind of book you want to write. And what feeling you want the reader to walk away with, in the end.
     
  9. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    The above advice is all valid. But be aware that sad endings are generally unpopular except with a very limited audience. Your either or attitude indicates that your story might need a little tweaking. Make the way the clone ends up matter. Then you will know if she should live or die or do something else.
     
  10. sunsplash
    Offline

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    Between the Magic City & the Conch Republic
    The cynic in me prefers endings that are not overly and/or predictably happy but I do like his idea:

     
  11. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,829
    Likes Received:
    7,360
    Location:
    Scotland
    I would warn against writing by committee. Instead, sit back, take a lot of time to think, and decide what kind of ending fits the story you want to tell. Think each option through all the way. Envision your characters, saying and doing whatever they might do at the end. What feels right and complete to you?

    This conclusion will be based on what your characters are like, deep down. Think about what has happened to them, what their hopes and fears may be now that the world has been saved. What forces exert pressure on them ...all sorts of things. How do they feel about each other? What would the girl's family feel like if the clone returned and they found out about it? Are the clones competitive with each other? Supportive? A combination? What does each one want the most? Do they get this wish, or do they need to make sacrifices? What if both of them want to go to earth? Obviously only one of them can return to the 'old life,' so how do they decide? Flip a coin? Have a discussion. Have a fight? They may be totally happy with what they decide, or they may have regrets. What would these regrets be?

    Take yourself through as many options as you can think of, then decide. By that time, the decision will probably make itself.

    Forget about what other people 'think' at this stage. You can get feedback once it's been written, but don't let other people influence these kinds of story decisions. You can so easily lose faith in your ability to write, and maybe in the story itself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
    cazann34 and stormr like this.
  12. PBrady
    Offline

    PBrady Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Nottingham UK
    some happy endings can be a bit too saccharin.
    Living together as one happy family would be a bit too much like The Waltons.

    Surely everyone has a dream of something they would go off and do?
    Have one of them go off and pursue the alternative?
     
  13. Dagolas
    Offline

    Dagolas Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    France
    I prefer an unhappy ending.
     
  14. Renee J
    Offline

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    I love happy endings, but if an unhappy ending fits, I'd prefer that to a sappy ending.
     
  15. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    1,063
    Location:
    England
    End the book at a point where the reader decides whether or not the ending is happy. Point the reader in one direction but make it clear that there is another direction to go in.

    Or ... Do a scooby doo ending and have both in the book!
     
  16. stormr
    Offline

    stormr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    plainwell, mi
    Thank you all so much for your opinions. I have been thinking this through alot over the last week. And I really liked Jannerts opinion. I did ultimately come to my conclusion. Based on several factors. One is that the MC's mother is always been an integral part of the story, she knows about the clone, and the clone has many internal issues with herself due to having all the MC's memories, and essentially they are the same person, and they are both good people deep down.

    I did originally go with having them both come back to earth, and play out like sisters. But I finally decided that having the clone stay behind and work with the species in rebuilding thier planet, and preventing the other racec from coming back and taking over was the choice to make. I even started up some ideas for mroe stories based off the clone (she actually has her own name in the story) and the challenges she now faces in her new world. Also I couldn't let her die.

    Thanks again to everyone for your input, I have been checking back in on this thread off and one to see what other's input was on this subject.
     
  17. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,829
    Likes Received:
    7,360
    Location:
    Scotland
    I thought of another angle the other day. Clones. They start out identical, with identical experiences, memories, etc. But from the time they are cloned they will change. From that moment on, they will have different experiences, and will never be totally identical again. By the end of the story they will be two different people.

    I don't know if you ever watched Farscape, but this actually happened in Season Three. The clones were identical to start with, to the extent that neither of them knew who the 'real' one was, but different things happened to each of them as the story moved on, and they did grow in different directions. It was a stunning series of stories, actually.
     
  18. stormr
    Offline

    stormr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    plainwell, mi
    I had thought through all that angle already as well, it's actually part of what drives the clone to do what she does later in the story, knowing that she is not really her, but yet she is herself, drives her mad, which is what allows the alien essence to nudge her to do certain things, and she does them herself to stand apart.
     
  19. Smoke Z
    Offline

    Smoke Z Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    36
    They could try to get along, but I don't imagine that they'd tolerate each other in daily life. Could be a little thing like not liking something that you notice once you observe it from the outside.
     

Share This Page