Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Like Happy Endings

Though I will never promise to end all of my stories without tragedy, I’m a big fan of happy endings. People like to reach the end of the story and feel glad that things turned out the way they did. We need sad endings too. Books like The Spy Who Came in From the Cold have their place. Part of the reason I know sad endings have their place is because some of the stories in the Bible have sad endings. What could be more sad than a man achieving a great victory in war and then coming home and sacrificing his daughter? We need those to remind us that not everything works out the way we would like.

But happy endings give us hope. I am so much a fan of happy endings that I’m convinced that unless an author has something that can only be said through a sad ending, he should plan on a happy ending. Take Uncle Tom’s Cabin for example. It is about a black slave who is trying to make the best of a bad situation. But in the end he dies a terrible death. The ending is somewhat happy because he does go back to the good master, but it is sad because he dies a senseless death. But it needed to be sad for people to see the impact slavery was having on people.

I see no point in making a story sad just to make people cry. People have enough things in life to make them cry and to make them angry. There’s no reason why stories have to do the same. Of course, I’m only talking about endings. In the middle, of course people should experience sadness and anger, but the end should bring them joy.