Coming up with good ideas for blog posts is quite a challenge, especially when trying to stick to a theme. In this post, I will be touching upon happy endings from a storytelling perspective, which I thought was apt for the ‘Fictional Fridays’ feature as the year end approaches.
A good ending completes the character arc of the protagonist and brings the story to a logical resolution. A ‘happily ever after’ allows the hero to lead a stable life after having achieved his goal and puts the reader’s mind at ease after all the action throughout the tale. That said, no ending is truly complete. It leaves ample scope for further development, which is what spawns a series of books and fanfiction.
I’m a huge fan of happy endings. I don’t just read books, I escape into one. When I’m deeply engrossed in rooting for the protagonist, I obviously want to see their dreams come true. An untimely death, like that of Tris in Divergent, leaves me reeling and hollow inside. After investing all that time and energy in getting to know and empathizing with the character, I come away a loser. Of course, giving the character everything that they wished for makes the story seem unrealistic. Sacrifices and compromises along the way are inevitable. Even myths and fairy tales don’t bestow good fortune before subjecting the character to a series of trials.
Happy endings are the ones that fill the reader with a sense of comfort and hope, and convey that no matter the situation, there’s always a light at the end of a tunnel, a day after the darkest night and a silver lining to every cloud. They are the chief source of inspiration and confidence for those who dare to dream. Just as a hearty meal ends with dessert, they leave a lingering taste of sweetness in our minds. After all, all’s well that ends well.
You want a happy ending, but not such a ridiculous happy ending that it doesn’t mean anything to anybody.
– Paul Feig
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