Happy endings – are they overrated?


Everyone likes a happy ending, but as a writer I sometimes wonder do stories always have to end that way? Call me a miserable so and so, but I actually quite like unhappy endings. Why? Because they can be more interesting. What I don’t like are open endings, where the reader has to decide whether there’s a good or bad outcome; that drives me crazy and, in a way, it’s cheating the reader, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m not talking about cliffhangers, where the writer leaves the story unresolved, because it continues in another book. My own Silver Flute Trilogy is an example of this. Books 1 & 2 end on cliffhangers and the story is finally resolved in book 3.

No, I like an ending to be an ending and it doesn’t always have to be a happy one. My writing is dark and my characters are various shades of light through to dark as well. There’s the “goodies” and the “baddies”, but I try to show both groups in various stages of light and dark.

For instance, the “good” characters also have less than desirable traits, such as selfishness, greediness and telling lies. The seemingly “bad” characters can also have redeeming characteristics, such as loyalty and selflessness.

My endings have these too, sometimes I go with the traditional happy conclusion, sometimes I don’t, depends on my state of mind at the time.

I haven’t yet decided how Book 3, Dawn Horizon will end yet. Watch this space. 😀

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2 Responses to “Happy endings – are they overrated?”

  1. Isabella Hunter Says:

    My favourite ending to a series has to be The Black Magician Trilogy. It is a great example of how perception and social constructs can be very detrimental and the ending is spectacularly depressing however serves a very real message of ‘But it won’t be me/them’. If you haven’t read this series I suggest it as it seem to fit with your ideas and thoughts.


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