Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Endings

Do your stories have happy endings? My flash fiction stories do not always have happy endings. Well, I guess that is debatable... Some people might like to be bitten by a vampire or a shapeshifter. In my flash stories, the characters don't have time to decide whether or not they like it, since often I just show the actual transformation. I know I prefer good to triumph over evil when I watch a movie or read a book. Otherwise it leaves me unable to sleep wondering if the bad guy is going to get me. And maybe that is the point, because I definitely remember those movies. Sometimes in these movies good temporarily prevails over evil at the end of the story, which leaves the audience begging for more. So, how do you know whether or not to give your story a happy ending? Opinions can differ on this point and sometimes it's up to the author to decide. For instance in Flowers for Algernon, what would you have thought if Algernon hadn't died and both he and Charlie survived. Would the story have worked as well? Publishers wanted Daniel Keyes to give the story a happy ending. The author stuck to his guns and the story did not get its happy ending. The book is now a classic and this happened in the authors life time. While you are deciding about your ending, perhaps you should let the story tell itself and see where the chips fall. (Many writers say that their story takes on a life of its own.) You may be pleasantly surprised or disturbed. Maybe that is just what your story needs, no matter what you as the author want or what other want.

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