Have you ever wondered, "Is there any way I can write the ending of my story that isn't an insult to my audience's intelligence, and so I can still look myself in the mirror in the morning?" I think there is. I divide the endings in two categories:
a -Realistic, and
b -Hollywood or Happy ending.
a – Realistic endings correspond, in my opinion, with dark, pessimistic. Why? Because no one fantasizes about losing, being cheated, dying. In reality we don't always get what we want. Even if we do, we can't keep it for that long. Reality, then, tends to be defined by disappointment, by failed objectives. Most relationships end. Everybody dies.
b - Hollywood ending is about whether or not the hero accomplishes his goal. It's not overly optimistic or impossible to achieve in real life. Fantasies are, after all, about victory not defeat. Hollywood ending is about fantasy and escapism.
The Hollywood ending is the end that the readers will like the best. And readers don't like to see the detective arrive “too late” to save his innocent beloved from the evil grip of the murderer.
In Hollywood, if nowhere else, the innocent never die, and love always conquers all.
What’s so terrible about that?
So, if you plan to give readers what they want, give them- accomplishment, triumph, optimism.
I must confess that my stories tend to slip to the darker side of life and I force myself to remember Danielle Steele's words. "If I want to cry, I just have to look around me." And then I try to write at least a HFN ending.
Well, dear fellows- in -pens, how do you write the endings in your stories?