Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Great Expectations.




While watching a movie the other night, a characters said of a novel “I hope it didn’t end happily” someone responded “The good ended happily, the bad unhappily. That’s why it’s called fiction.”





The character that had been looking for an unhappy ending, was one who had led a relatively happy and sheltered life. The one who believed that good and bad would get their just rewards only in fiction had led a difficult life.   

Many people read to escape life, and they look for those happy endings, something to give them the faith and hope that they don’t find in their own lives. Others may read to experience life, the depths, the tragedies, and the travel that they won’t encounter in their own.  



There are things that happen in real life that if they happened in a story the reader would throw down the novel in disgust saying it was too contrived, too convenient.  There are impossible things that happen in a story that seem plausible and right, given the context.   We each bring our own background into our reading, our own experiences and expectations.  People who read the same book may be overcome with opposite emotions or reactions to the events of a book.


I think this is important for authors to remember. We work hard to make sure our book says what we want, but we don't know and can't predict what readers will bring to the experience. There is no book the absolutely everyone will like.  All we can hope is that people will be able to find something to connect with.

12 comments:

  1. Amen to that! I don't get the people who want a tragic or sad ending, but good for them. I've definitely become less biased in my book reviews as I've learned this lesson, but you put it so well.

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    1. I like endings that feel true. And sometimes that means there isn't closure, or a fairy tale ending. But I don't like sad just for the sake of being sad.

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    2. Exactly. It has to ring true. And I too hate sad for the sake of sad.

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  2. The people we connect with through our writing are the ones who are our true audience.

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    1. True. We just never know who they will be

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  3. I can accept an ending when the main protagonist doesn't get what they want. But I prefer endings that offer me a sense of closure even if a goal wasn't fulfilled within the story. Perhaps moving on from disappointment is what the story can be about.

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  4. How true! I can except any outcome if it rings true to the story I'm reading. An implausible ending that doesn't fit the framework in place irritates me to no end!

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  5. This post resonated with me. I'm always looking for happy endings. It sort of feels anti-climactic if the main people don;t get their happy ending in a story.

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  6. Ooh, that's an interesting way of looking at it. I think as long as the ending is true to the arcs of the characters, it should resonate with readers. I hope I can do that!

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