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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happily Ever After or Positive Endings

Most of my books have what would be called the Happily Ever After ending, where girl and guy walk hand and hand into the sunset (not necessarily forever, since they're teens, but at least for the near future!). But a couple of my books do not have the traditional HEA ending. They are still postive endings, however. Or upbeat, or whatever you might want to call them. I even think (though I did not write) that in one book one of the couples will be together HEA eventually--after exploring other relationships. I don't write sad endings (at least, not yet) and I don't leave things completely hanging, such as the ending to the Sopranos series. That one really leaves what happens next to the imagination! In Gone With the Wind (Spoiler Alert for anyone who may not have read the book or seen the movie), Rhett leaves Scarlett and her next move is to decide to go to Tara to figure out how to get him back. This leaves the reader with imagining what might happen. I've read that Vivien Leigh and Olivia DeHavilland (from the movie) decided that Scarlett goes to a dinner party in Charleston 6 weeks later and wins him back. I like that theory! Funny thing, though, is that sometimes both HEA and and positive endings can be criticized. One reviewer thought one book was so HEA that it was unbelievable, while others thought that same ending was perfect. Also, that ending was a total surprise to some readers, while others figured who would end up with whom early on and rooted for the heroine to hurry up and make the right choice. :) So Happily Ever After or Positive, there's a reason an author had made the choice, and that is because the author thought it was the right ending for that particular story.

8 comments:

  1. Open-ended with a hint of a good tomorrow (i.e. HOPE) is my favorite. Never tie it all up too neatly... After all, tomorrow is another day. ;)

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    1. I've read GWTW twice and never have counted the number of times Scarlett said that! L}:D

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  2. I think there always needs to be hope. To me, to end a book implying there is no hope is to lie. Everything doesn't have to be wrapped up in a neat package, and not everybody has to have a HEA, but I do like believable HEAs.

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    1. I agree and I'm sure I'll never write a downer ending.

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  3. I've written all kinds of endings because I go with what is right for the story. Some readers may want the happily ever after, but I don't think it's always realistic.

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    1. Definitely agree--it's better to go with the ending that's right for each particular story.

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  4. There was a time when I was young that I enjoyed reading tragedies. Now I've seen too much real life tragedy. I prefer my fiction with believable happily ever after endings, but I'll settle for positive with a hint of hope ;)

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    1. I remember in grade school I had a book that was called Courageous Dog Stories or something like that. The dogs were all heroes, but about half the time it was an unhappy ending for the dog. I would cry and cry (but read the book over and over).
      Today I prefer at least that hint of hope in books.

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