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Happy Endings

Happy Endings

Today’s topic comes from QSFer LV Lloyd:

“What do you do when your readers want a ‘happy ending’? When I wrote Pirate (which has a sad ending) on wattpad – I had so many tearful complaints, I had to write a happier ending which I posted as a short story in the sub-genre of alternate world / multiverse. So – happy ending – yes or no?”

No, not THAT kind up happy ending. Get your minds out of the gutter, folks!

We’re talking the happy ending to a novel or short story. The one that wraps up everything in a neat little bow.

I think the desire for this this stems, at least in part, from several things.

1) Romance as a formula requires a happy ending.

2) Audiences, especially American audiences, have been conditioned to expect a happy ending. Always. Every time. To everything.

I’ll address the second one. Mark and I went to see “San Andreas” yesterday – you know, the new film where massive quakes destroy LA and San Francisco? Without giving too much away, let’s just say it’s apparent that pretty much every resident of San Francisco is dead by the end of the film. Yet we get this grafted-on, “iconic” moment at the end – “What will we do now?” “We will rebuild.” I almost laughed out loud – I mean, come on, millions dead, a city in ruins, but we gotta have our happy ending.

So what do y’all think? Are we always owed a happy ending? or do you, even just sometimes, want something else?

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