a true writer knows
what story ends happily
has ended too soon

[ I’m not one of those “real writers do this and that” sort of people but you have to admit every story becomes a tragedy if taken to its farthest conclusion. …or do I just focus on character death too much? ]

13 thoughts on “#1090

  1. There are only two ways a love story can end – either love dies or one of the lovers does. You’re right – there can be no truly happy endings but there can be satisfying ones. I’m guessing you enjoy writing the angst and anguish and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • Well.. I do, yes. XD But I mean, it’s true, really, because if you told the story to the VERY end, eventually everybody would die. My characters just happen to die… er… not usually from old age. But take Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint universe, for example. She wrote the books for it, but she also wrote short stories that dealt with the deaths of the main characters, even though that wasn’t part of the “main” story.

      • I take your point. Stories are better incomplete. If you put everything in they would be boring as well as depressing.I know how my best loved characters die, but nobody else needs to. It’s irrelevant to the stories I tell, which tend to be on the jolly side.

        • And that’s probably best in the end. I’ve been reading waaay too much soul-crushing historical fiction lately. My friends made fun of me for reading a book about a gay FBI agent who is accidentally sent back in time to Victorian London, falls in love with a dude who can talk to ghosts, and tries to solve the Jack the Ripper case, but HEY, sometimes a girl needs a break from books where everybody dies and just wants to read something cheesy where everything works out no matter what.

  2. That’s both a true statement and an interesting question — and in counterpoint couldn’t it also be said the story that ends tragically has ended too soon? What goes on after ‘The End’ of any story? I always imagine the ‘what next’ for my favorite characters after the book is over. What did Horatio do after Hamlet died, anyway?

    • But that’s what I’m saying. In the end, every single character dies eventually. Even if they don’t die in the story, they have to die sometime. Mine happen to die in the story, but even if I didn’t write about their deaths, they’d still occur sometime. I suppose not everyone looks at natural death as a tragedy, of course, but it’s still a sorta depressing thought. Like “oh, Harry Potter lives at the end! Yay! Well, until he dies later of a heart attack or colon cancer or something”.

      Of course, I’m an author who takes it to the extreme since my characters die of “natural” causes anyway (well, if you count drinking yourself to death as natural). So probably I am way too focused on death. Then again, I HAVE been reading a lot of hella depressing historical fiction lately… <>

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