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Author Topic: What is a happy ending, really?  (Read 3222 times)


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What is a happy ending, really?
« on: November 21, 2013, 03:13:12 PM »

Someone asked my about happy endings recently. I love this question because I can be provocative about the answer, so I said: all drama requires a positive ending. Shock and Awe, and comebacks of this nature: "what if I want a down ending instead?"

And I answered again "nope". no can do. All drama wants a positive ending.

Notice that I dropped the word Happy altogether. "happy" is a trick-word, a root of deception because we see/mean different  things by it: Maria imagine happiness as a spiritual state of mind, body or any combination of both. Peter adds it up in material terms: I own more toys, I win.  Viktor may picture "happy" as a smile visible to everyone.  hannah may fell happy inside and no one may have ever noticed.

Drama is a code implanted in our storytelling genes. It help (forces us?) to understand life and morals as a pursuit with a direction and an outcome. Maybe more.  But Drama could not care less about happy endings, really.

History and fiction are full of dead heroes who didn't make it thru the finish line showing off their grinning teeth. In common life most disappear leaving small traces of their passing. Some leave too many. Some have left an example, a sacrifice even. A sacrifice is a positive ending, but not a happy one, think of the hero's family for example, or the weeping audience.

Death can prevent a happy ending, but all good stories are positive, no matter what happens to the hero in the end. Ever thought about that?  If you have a ? I'll be happy to dialogue with you here.

We talk about positive and negative endings in the Story Different workshop and webinars.


« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 03:22:03 PM by cinemahead »


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Re: What is a happy ending, really?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 09:27:36 AM »

Something I personally think of you as well.
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