Friday, June 20, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Happy Ending


I've been writing stories ever since I was seven or eight years old. It's always been one of my favourite hobbies, even though there were times when they took some time off while I was busy with other things.

Through the years I've written quite a few of them, as can be verified by the number of filled notebooks that inhabit my drawers. Some were more serious than others, some were undoubtedly better than others but none reached the level of quality one dreams of.

Nevertheless that has not been my main writing challenge, no. My biggest fault has been my inability to finish most of the stories I've started. It was either the inability to find the right ending for the path the story took, or the lack of motivation to follow through a certain plot and put all the ideas I had into paper...or even being simply unwilling to give it an ending, as it would imply saying goodbye to something I'd been working on for so long,saying adieu to the characters and moving on. Believe it or not, it can be tough to some writers.

From the few endings I've managed to put together, I cannot find one that was a happy ending. I think that I actually pushed myself to write the strangest endings I could possibly imagine: split-ups, suicides, plots of vengeance, even murder...dark things that match my Venus in Scorpio well. I remember plots that seemed to be going in the right direction until, at the last minute, I decided to ruin them and plan a crazy escape.

But why? Doesn't everybody want a happy ending? Maybe not. I do know that if I'm watching a film or reading a book and I can guess that a pink fairytale ending is coming (even if I, myself have desired it while watching/reading), those last instants seem to lose some interest. I still watch/read but I find that it's not as gripping...just a little boring.


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24 comments:

Lucy said...

makes sense that since you don't enjoy happy endings, that's why you choose not to end your stories that way. I on the other hand, am very disappointed when the ending doesn't go the happy route. Even so, I would love to read one of your dark stories!! :))

lissa said...

i don't always want a happy ending, and i really don't write many myself, much to the disdain of some of my readers.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No, I don't always want a happy ending. They get old after awhile. Besides, life isn't that neatly packaged; why should fiction be?

Tammie Lee said...

Endings are interesting. I enjoy most when the story goes a way I have not imagined, which is a bit rare. Still I do enjoy happy endings.

Thank you for your kind words! Also for sending me to Madelyn from Persisting Stars, wonderful to see what she is sharing and to meet you.

anthonynorth said...

I think people are alright with happy endings if it is unexpected - keeping the reality of the end to the very last moment.

Devil Mood said...

Lucy: Thank you! But sometimes I do crave a happy ending onthe screen or the last page of the book...

Lissa: That's true. But it's not exactly easy to write happy endings, especially when the characters seem to have a life of their own...

Susan HG: That's right, there's a lot of endings around us that aren't happy at all.

Tammie Lee: Oh you're welcome :) It's lovely that you have some common paths with Madelyn, so I thought you should meet. That's what I like the most about stories - the unexpected! You're spot on.

Anthony: Exactly, as I was saying to Tammie, the unexpected is what I really want :)

Granny Smith said...

I let my characters write the story for me. I can't control them beyond a certain point. My one published novel (AI is a Three-Toed Sloth - available on Amazon) did not have the happy ending I envisioned at the beginning, and many readers were disappointed, although I felt the inevitability of my somewhat ambiguous ending.

Lucy said...

Hi again! couldn't find your email address, just want to thank you for your comments and tell you that This post of yours inspired my post! I was totally blank till I read this! thank you! :))

Holy Chaos said...

i used to write stories,too.

i remember the one iwrote in 5th grade that had a "bad" word in it and how awful i felt when my mom found the story! lol

danni said...

is it possible that it IS a happy ending for you when you are able to get that twist rather than the "pink fairytale" to finish a story??? --- if i can finish a piece to my liking it is a happy thing, regardless of whether it mirrors real life happy!!!

amarettogirl said...

so true so true! i have the same issues with many movies and stories too which drives me to the darker less predictable of both...one of my favorite movies Pan's Labrynth has both the fairy tale and the forebooding realism and undpredictable ending. love your response...check out mine when you get a chance...i think you will appreciate it!

Abhishek said...

Sometimes its fun to twist and contort and generally dismember a plot setting just to see how far you can go before your story tears at its seams. After all, chances are that whatever you might have thought up of originally, that wonderful twist, that obscenely beautiful scene -- all that is probably done before, and probably done better.

Interesting blog. Having fun reading it ^_^

Jennifer Hicks said...

real life doesn't have happy endings. makes a lot of sense to me!

Tammy said...

I like a good balance in my reading/movies because life isn't all about the ending but the journey. I just started writing fiction recently and I don't think I'll always end on a happy note. ;)

ell said...

I understand. I'm drawn to either quirky, dark and twisted endings or ambiguous ones - where the reader is left to ponder the what-ifs and maybes. I think the ambiguous ones are the most realistic. Straightforward, happy endings are harder for me to take (believe?).

Niall said...

I've just finishe dreading 'The Road' by Cormac MaCarthy..brilliant poetic bleak and very moving..but a story with no conventional 'end'...there are no 'ends'..only the end of beginings..then there's the begining of an end....but once you get to the end of the begining and begin the end..then you're begining to end the begining of the end of the begining of the end. Simple realy!

Devil Mood said...

Granny: Always an honour to have you on my blog - a published author and all *wink* ...
I completely understand: I cannot control my character's destiny's neither...Isn't it odd,almost ridiculous, but so true?

Lucy: That is resolved now :)

Holy chaos: haha to this day I'm not too comfortable with my parents finding my stories neither. lol

Danni: You've got that right! At the moment, any ending at all would be a happy one for me, as it's my struggle to end lol, but of course if I think it's a clever one, it'll be a happy one :)

Amaretto girl: Glad we agree! Funnily enough I can really connect your blog with the Pan's Labiryth artwork and feel :) We are what we like,after all...

Abhishek: Hello! thanks for visiting. That's not a very optimistic view on writing,is it? although I must say I agree a little lol

Jennifer Hicks: I guess we really choose our stories according to our points of view, there's no escaping that :)

Tammy: Now you've said it all! It's about the journey. :) Have nothing else to add.

Ell: Oh I love those, the ambiguous and the what-ifs. Fantastic! :)

Niall: ok, I couldn't possibly answer that. lol would you recommend that to me?

deepbluewater said...

hi again, i must say i love happy endings,i belive in love in everything we do, and yahhhhh we all have seen or felt some "unhappy ends" but in my case i must say it turn out happy after all... when we can learn with the experience, what doesnt kill you makes stronger! sorry for my litlle english :p

Violet said...

I agree with deepbluewater about happy endings. if u learn from them, they're happy.
I need happy endings in most movies, they make me feel at peace. or just neutral ones, when they end and it seems like it could go on, u get to imagine it.I love true stories, and then at the ending they write what followed the story.

Devil Mood said...

DeepBlue: Your english is fine :) I think I can agree. After all, every ending seems to be a beginning too and we're all working towards a happy ending along the way, I think that's the important one.

Violet: Oh I really like that too. Somehow if they only tell us they lived happily ever after it doesn't seem credible, I want to know more ;)

missalister said...

I really liked the thoughts here. Two especially—not finishing and not wanting a happy ending—are very real for me, too. Both haunted me in one story I started a few months ago. The ending I came up with was just plain mean of me and I couldn’t do it to the guy, but I didn’t want the happy one either! LOL! Later I came up with an ending that leaves it up to the reader, but by that time I was so put off by the whole thing that I never finished it. Crazy how the mind works, eh?!

Devil Mood said...

MissA: haha I'm glad I'm not the only one doing cruel things with the characters when another ending can't be found lol. These days getting to the end is my biggest challenge, I just extended those stories too much.

Maisie said...

You probably enjoy writing about real life - it doesn't always have happy endings. My 14 year old son is doing a lot of writing lately. He has a lot of stories that are started, too.

Devil Mood said...

Maisie: How cool that your son is writing. I think it's an excellent outlet for teenagers, may even prevent him from getting into trouble ;)