Happy endings are really all anyone ever wants. They’re in all the fairy tales. The idea of them permeate every other fiction genre. No-one sets out in life thinking, boy, I do hope my life sucks. (Although to be honest, if you wanted it to happen and it did… I guess that would be a happy ending… of a kind.)
Anyway, I think that’s one of the reasons some stories are so controversial. Mockingjay (you know the one, by Suzanne Collins) ended in a peaceful way, they’d succeeded at overthrowing the Capitol, but Katniss was by no means alright. Most of the more negative opinions I read about it centred on the lack of real happiness or a particularly happy ending – people weren’t satisfied with it.
Personally, I love both. I love a realistic portrayal, where characters are traumatised (if you were forced to kill people between the ages of 12-18 you’d be traumatised too), and I love to read an ending that makes me have faith in the world again.
Maybe the problem comes where readers can feel that there are ‘unnecessary deaths’. That’s a common one. And I do think that very occasionally, writers go OTT with their character killings. But I think in most circumstances, even if one particular death on its own may not seem to serve much purpose, deaths may come together to make a statement. It sounds a bit complicated if I try to say it, but usually writers do kill with purpose. (Strictly fictionally, of course.)
There’s gonna be deaths in works I hope to publish in the future. And probably also realistic endings, because they fascinate me, particularly as a ’97 baby (I might expand on that matter at a later date if you like haha). But I also have a certainty I’ll write some happy endings. They do tend to bring that sense of closure, which a lot of people struggle to be without.
In short, I find it fascinating how people react to the end of any story, true or false, happy or sad, and I find it fascinating how these story structures, and these constructs of the ‘happily ever after’ have permeated time.
See you on Sunday!