Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

14

Moral ambiguity = the fuel of good literature. To answer your question in more concrete, and perhaps useful, terms: As all us really old people know, there's really no such thing as a happy ending. Things break down, everyone dies, entropy rules, and so on, blah, blah, blah. Whether an ending is "happy" or not I've found to be negligible as far as the ...


14

It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior. The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several ...


4

To add a little to Scarlett's answer (which is excellent BTW): Happy endings are far more prevalent than tragic ones because they're easier to pull off badly. In order to understand how an ending should be executed it is necessary to understand a little about endings. It cannot have escaped your attention that in many happy endings a male and female ...


4

mootinator makes a good point. But I can imagine a public that, while not interested in unfortunate endings per sé, might be interested in "neutral" endings, namely the skeptic community. Real life is not supposed to suck, neither is it supposed to be good to us, it's rather "indifferent" to our fortunes, although the word "indifferent" is a bit too ...


2

Don't worry about it. Just balance out the darkness with some charm. If the young reader loves your characters and enjoys the tale, he or she will put up with anything. Look at J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Those are grim, grim books. Death is a prevalent theme from the outset. Fully one third of the books is about someone's dead parents, or how ...


1

It also depends on the target age group. Conventional wisdom indicates that older children - say, preteens - can handle more complex and negative stories than small children. Hence why you get the newbery medal syndrome where the dog always dies at the end to teach children about death and moving on from tragedy.


1

Don't mistake "a happy ending" with "defeated the monster". Fairy stories of old had several goals, one of which was to show children that the monster can be dealt with. Note that that does not mean everything will turn out alright. Sometimes it's a choice between two terrible things, one of which is worse than the other. Modern fantasy works are spiritual ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible