Help For Writers, Uncategorized, Writing

Sad Endings: Should I Write Them

 November 4, 2013

By  CuylerC

I have been writing a lot of short stories lately.  I wrote two new stories, and I’m going over a bunch of older stories.


The older stories were written for specific markets with word caps and age ranges. I wrote these stories for a writing course I took many years ago.


Now I’m rewriting these stories to my taste. To the age range of I-don’t-care. I don’t like writing for specific age ranges. If a story I write turns out good for the young adults, or teens, then so be it. If I write a store and even adults are cringing at the words, so be it.


I write what I want to write.


So, does this mean my stories will be popular. I don’t know.  This brings me to my question: Should all stories have happy endings?


When you check the “rules of writing” – you know those rules that only the God of Writing can change – it says all stories must have a ending where the protagonist must achieve his or her goals.


But I don’t believe that means the ending must be happy.  Also why must the protagonists achieve their goals?


If you have read G.R.R.M’s Song of Ice and Fire, you’ll know that half the protagonists don’t even live to the end of the book.


And in interviews with G.R.R.M, he says that he likes writing a story where anybody can die. Realism, gruesome realism.  I’m a fan of this. I’m a fan off anything that puts sensitivities aside and brings out the realism in any story.


Of course this is my opinion. Some people want to read a book were all the goals are met. They want the happy ending.


Well goals can be met, and endings can still be sad. Or goals can be failed, and endings can still be happy. Depends on how the writer writes it.


I think all writers should write what they want to write. What is the point of being a writer if you don’t get to write what you want. Screw the reader.


If they don’t like your writing, they can take their money elsewhere. I know that sounds rough, for the writers. We don’t make enough money as it is. But here is the catch, people will still read your work.


There are billions of people on this planet. There are more people that can speak fluent english in China then there are in North America. You also have India which is about the same as China.  Then there is Europe.


What I’m trying to say is that if ten people don’t want to read your story, one person somewhere else will.


Write what you want, put it on the market, then write another. If you don’t want a happy ending, don’t put one.


The last four stories I completed had sad endings. But they are also beginnings.I have left these stories as possibilities for more stories. Perhaps a novel.


Write what you want. You wanted to be a writer to enjoy what you do in life. So enjoy it, don’t let social standards conform your writing.



I love words. Words influence and inspire. Words stir emotion and thought. Words can make the world a better place, as well a worse place. I want my words to make the world better.

Cuyler Callahan

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