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Are you in favour of happy endings, or sad endings?


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(Example: The recent (as of 2014) movie, Edge of Tomorrow, has been criticized by fans of the novel for changing the ending to make it happier (the original ending is that the main characters die off, with no revival at all).)

I would sometimes consider on whether should I make my endings more darker and worse, or can I allow them to have more pleasant endings, for fear that any fans of my future works might one day rage capriciously over whether my works should have happy or sad endings.

Concerning this, I would like to ask this to you:

"Are you in favour of more happy endings in my works, or sad endings?"

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It takes guts to have a sad ending, and if it's done well, it's a good job.  But (for a crazy example) if the last show in MLP all the ponies die within a 30 minute episode (including, intro, exit, and commercials) That would be pointless and bad.

 

I have a fanfic which would be sappy without having a bittersweet ending.  The main character is clearly an anti-hero and for him to be happy everypony has to be sadder, or vice versa.  So I ended with him being unhappy.

 

On the other hand I have a fanfic which I decided to make Pinkie happy at the end instead of open ended.  I think it may have worked.
 

Both are works in progress.

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I've always been a sucker for happy endings. There are some really elegant, beautiful sad endings, but I enjoy the happier ones the most. Open ended endings irritate me unless they are done exactly right. Some stories don't lend themselves very well to open ended endings, when what the audience want the most is closure on the characters. (Looking at you, Mass Effect.)

 

Don't let MLP forums (or anyone) tell you how to end your story, though. Tell the story that you want to tell.

Edited by Banul
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I tend to prefer happy endings most of the time. They just feel more fulfilling to me.

 

 But I can appreciate a sad ending when it's done well and is appropriate. I do think that sad endings have their place in entertainment and can be just as well done as happy endings. Not every story needs to end on a positive note.

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I'm not really in favor of one over the other, provided the resolution fits the prior narrative. In fiction having a melancholy or sad ending come out of nowhere can be appropriate (Pay it Forward) but more often than not it feels shoehorned in.

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I'm a serious writer. The problem many authors have is not understanding the context of their work. If a story suggests that humanity is doomed to destruction, then it makes no sense to have a happy ending. Some stories do even worse by throwing in a pointless love story, suggesting that love conquers all; which it doesn't. (example: The Day after Tomorrow)

 

The opposite is also true. If a hero is supposed to save the day with courage and perseverance, then you destroy the meaning of the story when he ends up failing for no reason. (example: Terminator 3)

 

That being said, I think I prefer happy ending; but I don't mind feeling like there's a chance evil will win. But the ending has to be a conclusion to the moral dilemma as well as the story. 

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In general, I'm more of a sad ending part... especially when I don't see it coming. Happy endings are overrated, imo. Art is meant to touch you in ways that nothing else can, and in most cases a sad ending is best for that. It usually also makes you realize how attached you are with the characters, because of the sheer empathy you feel. There are exeptions, of course, but I can't think of any atm.

Edited by Ardhacandra
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To be honest I only want happy endings in everything I read and watch, although ironically all the stories I write have sad ones. I just feel like I have enough sadness in my life, you know? I don't have the emotional capacity for more sadness after all the crap I've been through.

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I love a happy or heartfelt ending to a tragic story. It's nice to see things looking up for the protagonist after having them struggle through some pretty terrible things. Bitter sweet endings are also pretty nice and are a lot more fitting to darker scenarios. I guess what I want to say is that I like leaving things off on a better note for the protagonist than when the plot raised its ugly head.

 

As for sad endings, I find them in general a little on the pretentious side. They certainly have their place, but I think they've been overdone by people that think their story has more significance or depth than it actually does (basically any "artsy" movie ever.) There needs to be a need for a sad ending, just not a sad ending for the sake of having one.

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Good endings! All the literature I read in high school was.. Rather sad. I like to see things resolve in a good way. Don't we have enough worries to worry about (lol) to be reading more tragedy?

 

To be honest, whenever I read a sad story I feel better... Sure, I will feel sad because of the sad things that happened, but it let's me forget all of the sad things that happen in real life. It also makes me content with what I have. 

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I'm a bit conflicted on that. I like a happy ending, but i'll take a sad ending it leaves you yearning for more, i suppose. Happy endings aren't always the right way to end a story. An ending must be meaningful, so a good one to close a good story is something which i think should be important, be it either happy or sad.

 

I also like good cliffhangers which inspire you to look further ahead for the author's next work.

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