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Sad or Happy Ending?

  1. Sad

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Happy

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Bittersweet

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. ProcrastinatingDreamer
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    ProcrastinatingDreamer Member

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    Unsure if I should go with a happy ending or a sad one...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ProcrastinatingDreamer, Aug 30, 2016.

    Hi, I'm currently developing an idea for a novel I've had for a few months now.

    As far as key plot points and character development go, I have just about everything in place, but I'm stuck on the ending.

    I already have a vague idea of how the story ends but I'm unsure of how to execute it.

    To avoid making this post overly long, I'll try to explain this without going too in depth:



    Basically, my two protagonists have been trapped in a room with a very small chance of escaping before the antagonists break down the door.

    My female lead has the ability to escape and go for help if given enough time.

    My male lead cannot get out ( for very specific reasons ) and instead chooses to sacrifice his own life so the female can escape and ultimately save the day.

    When he tells her his plan, she initially refuses.

    But after some rationalizing from the male lead, she tearfully agrees to it.

    After she escapes, the antagonists break into the room.




    What I need to know is does the male character end up truly sacrificing himself, or is his friend able to come to his rescue before the antagonists can deliver the final blow?

    I should mention that the story is already pretty saddening, with both protagonists struggling to find a place to live while also dealing with antagonists creating even more problems.

    I honestly don't know if this kind of story should be uplifting or end in tragedy. Or maybe even a bittersweet ending where the male lead is alive but suffers some permanent damage from the fight.

    Any advice is appreciated. :)
     
  2. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    I suspect you'll have to write each and every ending, and see which one 'feels' right to you.
    Perhaps your editor or publisher will advise on what the market is looking for.
     
  3. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Depends on how you want the readers to feel. Is this a story with a feel and message that wants to be sad? What kind of endings do you enjoy yourself? It's really up to you, and there's not much anyone else can say I don't think. It's whatever you want.
     
  4. ProcrastinatingDreamer
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    ProcrastinatingDreamer Member

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    Good point.

    I'm actually am leaning towards the sadder ending, but I know for the overall story, the message will be very pessimistic.

    Character wise, I think it makes it more compelling since the male lead has many handicaps that make life more difficult for both him and the female ( not that she holds it against him. ) Despite his disabilities, he's also the only person she feels comfortable opening up to ( she's type of person who likes to hide her emotions. )

    So in a way, she helps him with his physical needs while also needing him for emotional support.

    I'm trying to understand what happens to her if that support is gone.
     
    Simpson17866 and Oscar Leigh like this.
  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That's exactly why it will need the sad ending.
     
  6. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I suspect when you get to the ending, you will know which way to go. One of my books had a very specific ending originally planned (positive). When I actually got to writing it though I wound up making it more ambiguous (sad but hopeful). What I wrote 'in the process' (ending #2) was VASTLY superior to the original ending I had in mind all along.
    Bonus: it left my character in a prime position for a sequel, something I had never originally considered but was glad I had the opportunity as she is a lot of fun to work with.
     
  7. Nicola
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    Nicola Member

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    If I was reading this I would like an ending with a clever twist whereby the male protagonist is saved in a unique way.

    It reminds me of the film The Hole
     
  8. 7XshadowolfX7
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    7XshadowolfX7 Member

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    Maybe, you should make the reader believe your MC male, dies in the end. But as a glimmer of hope you could end the book on a cliff-hanger where it is possible he lived. But you make it unclear if that is what actually happend.
     

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