1. Tavares765
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    Tavares765 Member

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    Not-so-happy Endings...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tavares765, Aug 29, 2011.

    I'm currently editing and polishing a novel I've left alone for several months. Picking it up again, I was able to read it in a new light and found a better way to tell the story. Now that I've ended up with a version that I'm pleased with, I'm left with just one question. The ending of the story is not particularly happy. My main character is imprisoned in exchange for his friends to escape. However, the main character does outwit the villains in a twist that's revealed at the end of the book. My question is what you all personally feel about the ending of a story? When creating a plot is it practical to incorporate a not-so-happy ending? Does the success of such an ending depend on whether there's something the reader can feel good about?
     
  2. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Personally, I have no grudges against novels with unhappy endings. It throws a little variety into the world of reading, and, as we know, there's no such thing as a perfect ending.

    Some people I know wouldn't enjoy such an ending, but they're not exactly the most open-minded. I think that maybe leaving the reader with some sort of happiness, some good aspect of the ending, would be a good idea - but only if it doesn't take away from your story as a whole. Don't force it. If your story conveys your message effectively with a sad ending but not with a happy one, don't choose the happy one simply to appeal to the readers. You need to go with what you feel is right for your story.

    Hope this helped, at least somewhat.
     
  3. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write the ending that best fits with YOUR story. Don't really worry about whether it is happy or not. Just make sure it's the right ending.
     
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  4. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    I wrote a story at school for an assignment way back in the early 90s that could have finished with an "unhappy ending." Instead, I finished it with a happy ending and even though I was rewarded with top marks for having written what was for me at that stage in my writing a pretty damn good story, my teacher had written in her infamous green pen a comment that I find relevant in this discussion.

    "Your stories need not always have a happy ending."

    So long as the story doesn't get the reader's hopes up and then, in the last paragraph, ends with something appallingly horrible like, everyone dying in an atomic explosion, I see no problem with there being no "happy ending."
     
  5. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I would say it depends on the ending, but generally it's not bad to write a not so happy ending to a book. If that part fits the story well, then there's nothing wrong to write a sad ending. It does not even have to be sad nor happy either.
     

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