Do You Like Happy Endings? #atozchallenge #amwriting

jumping by jpkwitter

Every story has to have its ending, and there have been times in history when a particular ending was preferred. King Lear was even altered to give it a happy ending (which I felt defeated the artistic work of Shakespeare). Some people can’t wait for the end, wading through drama and angst solely to get to the “happily ever after,” while others seem upset if there is no death, no sorrow, no cost to the heroes journeys.

So I figured, during this A to Z journey, it’d be a good time to get other reader and writers’ thoughts on this. Do you like happy endings? Are you “okay” with sad ones, where a beloved character dies? Or do you long for that tragic ending where you ache at the end and throw the book across the room?

Copyright 2016 Andrea Lundgren

Photo by Jpkwitter, Creative Commons

27 thoughts on “Do You Like Happy Endings? #atozchallenge #amwriting

  1. I feel cheated when I get through the whole book and the end is sad or tragic. I need a happy ending, or at least an ending where there is the potential for something positive implied for the future. I know that doesn’t always work for serious literature or the classics, but it’s what I want for pleasure reading.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it does. But that wasn’t the ending of the story–it was a bump in the road of the larger plot. If he had died and that was it, story over, or if say Frodo and Sam died at the end, without destroying the ring and saving Middle Earth, I would have ultimately hated Lord of the Rings, amazing though it is.


  2. Happy ending for me too, please–or at least the potential for moving forward into a better future. I like watching characters building relationships throughout a series and wondering will they, won’t they.

    What a super blog this is! Delighted to have found it through the A to Z Challenge
    @AnneKnol1 from
    Author Support – Write a Cozy Mystery from A to Z

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For me, the ending doesn’t have to be all rosy and perfect, but I like some positivity and hope. Things may not have worked out exactly as the hero wanted them to, but as long as something changed for the better, and that change was earned, then the ending is satisfying.

    Nice to meet you via the #AtoZChallenge!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The pain that comes throughout the story, all the hardships and obstacles and setbacks, that then lead to a happy ending. HEAs have tons of pain. The trick is that the story doesn’t end at the painful part, it moves forward to a happy place.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m okay with books not ending happily throughout a trilogy/series, as long as the pay-off at the end of the story for reader and character after all the pain, suffering and hardships that led there is a HEA. As for beloved characters dying… I kill characters (fictionally, of course) if it’s good for the story and for my MC. Naturally, the MC shouldn’t die 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the AtoZchallenge.


  5. I like an open ending, where the story can go on in my head. Happy endings are usually closed, and therefore final.

    Best wishes for the rest of the challenge,

    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016


    1. Fascinating! Open ending, like in a series, or open endings where even the resolution is missing? I used to alter endings by adding myself as a character in books, but having an ending never got in my way; in fact, it usually spurred me on because it failed to satisfy me.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  6. Honestly I prefer sad endings, or an ending that ends everything unless its a series of course. I don’t know, it has to be a natural ending to the story, so if it was a happy story I would expect a happy ending.
    Thank you for giving me something to think about


    1. Personally, natural endings are important to me, too. I don’t want a happy ending if it feels contrived, and some stories deserve a sad ending (or at least a sad section in the middle).
      Thanks for stoping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I personally like happy endings, although not contrived ones (however if that is the point of the work, such as some of Moliere’s comedies, it is acceptable). But generally in a work of fiction once I get to know and love a character it is extremely hard to lose them. I would probably not reread the book if they died at the end and thus made the book a depressing one. I might reread the book if the death was justified by the story and happened in the middle, giving me time to heal while finishing the book and leaving me with some sort of hope and resolution at the end. Even Shakespeare left us Horatio at the end of Hamlet to warn the rest of humanity of the dangers of greed and subterfuge, giving us hope of someone else perhaps having a happy ending as a result of his storytelling.


    1. Interesting! So having death occur earlier helps you see the hope…but Hamlet died at the end. So is it just that Horatio (and Shakespeare) does an exceptional job of bringing out the hope in his friend’s death?


  8. I definitely like to sample a wide variety, but I think the key is establishing the potential for a sad or bittersweet ending. Stories like the Lord of the Rings or the Ice & Fire series have their share of tragic moments, while gentler stories like Wind in the Willows or Gulliver’s Travels rather consistently make light of what could be a troubling outcome.
    It’s all a question of whether the ending fits the rest of the story, and whether the story earns its ending. There have definitely been a few that tried to emulate the classic epic journey, but never quite captured the necessary gravitas.


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