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Thread: Anyone for a happy ending?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by L2me View Post
    My protagonist isn't an anti hero so to speak but he isn't likeable especially at the start he's not even interesting he's basically a blank slate but he's definitely got that negative energy that comes out as the story progresses.
    I have two protagonists who are psychopaths who shouldn't be anywhere near each others as lovers with how they push each other for that cruel play. Readers hated them, then loved them, then threatened death by skin peeling if I killed them off. Most times it's not what is done, but who does it. My psychopaths stay true to character and don't want a fictional 'fix' to who they are, so it's finding ground on how they survive on their level together. When it comes to happy ending with them, happy for them is putting heads together when there's a third psychopath around to threaten their dynamics and killing field, then they are at their best together. It's why I like dark romance over mainstream romance. You can look away from 'boy meets girl' and into psychopath meets high-functioning psychopath, who just happens to have a split side who's a sociopath.
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  2. #22
    The story ends when the reader stops reading regardless of how much you write. The beginning is far more important to encourage them to embark on the journey at all. Where they leave off isn't something that you can control so easily even though inexperienced writers seem to take it for granted that they'll stay with them forever.

    An honestly delivered story is over when it has fulfilled the promises implied at its beginning. Did the opening imply a happy ending? If so then it must be delivered by the end. My solitary novel Never Upon A Time described itself as a fairy story in the frontispiece, so a happy ending was distinctly implied, but that was only the ending to the first part of the story and it didn't stop there but continued to explore whether it was actually possible to live happily ever after. The verdict seemed to be that if one were actually able to live ever after at all then the happiness would derive from being perpetually hopeful, the journey always being more important than the destination over the horizon.

    Although I never entirely wrote the two other novels in the trilogy I did write the final chapter of the last one ... and strangely the chapter after that, given that the story actually ends when the reader considers it appropriate to stop reading. Hence my opinion is evidently that no ending is truly happy in the reader's mind as they have been abandoned by their constant companion, the writer. My trilogy did actually end with the happy couple riding off into what ought to have been the sunset, but they had simply become happy with their lot rather than anything having truly changed, so maybe that doesn't count.
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  3. #23
    Group Leader Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    The best endings, in my opinion, are melancholy and open ended. Anything else, and I am disappointed.
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

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  4. #24
    Member Ma'am's Avatar
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    I like endings that are less clear than our hero reaching his goal or not reaching his goal. Better to me if he reaches his goal but discovers that wasn't the right goal in the first place. Or doesn't reach his goal but gets something better instead.

    I read a lot of what I guess would be called women's fiction (not romance) and I am so sick of the happy ending of the MC getting married or having a baby. It's so overdone.

  5. #25
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    I'm starting to see more and more of my story in mind so thanks for the advice.

    Any advice on what should be included in an outline? and how it should read? i'd love to see any example, like i say I'm a complete novice...

  6. #26
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    Ma'am that's what i think for a character arc. i want my protagonist to over reach his goal then realise it's not what they ultimately want/need and be more satisfied not reaching their goal. if that makes sense.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by L2me View Post
    Any advice on what should be included in an outline? and how it should read? i'd love to see any example, like i say I'm a complete novice...
    Not to derail the thread, but an outline is there to guide you, the author. It doesn't need to include particular things or read a particular way because it's just a way for you to plan out what you want to happen. Some authors might list plot ideas in a document. Some might use sticky notes on the wall. Some (like me) have an outline in their head, and others don't use an outline at all. If you're a complete novice (as in, has never even attempted fiction before), I'd suggest 1) get into the habit of writing every day, and 2) start small--practice writing with shorter stories and character sketches. Good luck!
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  8. #28
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'am View Post
    I am so sick of the happy ending of the MC getting married or having a baby. It's so overdone.
    That's a genre requirement, I'm afraid. I certainly would not want to encounter a sad ending unexpectedly. I read to get a change of pace from bad endings.

    Romance saves lives, gives hope, and tries to educate the new generation on healthy relationships. There's a huge amount of pressure to include radical consent and safe sex in every book as an example. We're like hopeful sci-fi for relationships. Sci-fi is about people and technology changes, space opera is about people and large scale social science, romance is about people in relationships, and it's all forward looking. We've seen bad examples, and people take bad lessons from it, so we try to avoid accidentally glorifying abusive relationships and such. Some readers might be in a bad place.

    From the Romance Writers of America website, in the definition of a romance genre story:
    Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

    A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

    An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

    Source: https://www.rwa.org/Online/Romance_G...nce_Genre.aspx
    My outlines look like summaries that highlight main points.

  9. #29
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    That's a genre requirement, I'm afraid. I certainly would not want to encounter a sad ending unexpectedly. I read to get a change of pace from bad endings.

    Romance saves lives, gives hope, and tries to educate the new generation on healthy relationships. There's a huge amount of pressure to include radical consent and safe sex in every book as an example. We're like hopeful sci-fi for relationships. Sci-fi is about people and technology changes, space opera is about people and large scale social science, romance is about people in relationships, and it's all forward looking. We've seen bad examples, and people take bad lessons from it, so we try to avoid accidentally glorifying abusive relationships and such. Some readers might be in a bad place.

    From the Romance Writers of America website, in the definition of a romance genre story:


    My outlines look like summaries that highlight main points.
    You know I have to wonder just how many genres can be shoved into a story? I'm going to start a thread for that.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

  10. #30
    Happy endings can be a dime a dozen, and sometimes defeat the purpose of the story being told. When I am nearing the ending for something I'm writing, there are many factors that contribute to how I actually illustrate the ending of said story, and look at the following criteria:

    - Character arcs. Does the ending serve my characters? Does it bring a needed closure, or set the arc towards the next story and appearance of the character(s)?
    - Story arc/plot. Does the ending complete the plot and/or story, or will it set up a sequel? (This is more prevalent in the series I write)
    - Answers. Has the ending brought about the answers to all the questions the reader might have that were raised throughout the story?
    - Tone. Is a happy ending appropriate, or does the story in question require a darker tone, or even a death?

    I'm all for a happy ending where necessary, but sometimes it's better to shock and surprise the reader right at the bitter end.

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

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