Tweet of the Day: The Hate that Lurks
Endings, should they be happy or sad? Full of puppies and butterflies or ruinous damnation and bitter tears?
How about a little of both?
Really, you can do that?
But of course you can. That’s why this trope exists. Perhaps it is a fitting accommodation to our Post-modern world filled enough cynicism to eviscerate all the puppies with a single swipe of bitterest scythe. Life, after all, is fundamentally unfair, and at some point we have to either seize or defend what we want/have from all comers. And every conflict has casualties, the most poignant of all are close friends and relatives. The gains can only be measured by the sacrifices made to achieve them. What makes winning the medal at the end are the endless hours of honing your body to perfection, not crossing the finish line before everyone else.
At the other end of the spectrum you have hope; hope for victory, which is the other side of the reward matrix. Yes, you sacrificed, you endured but without a final reward why bother at all? Thus you have the happy ending but it must be earned. Enough hope to drag the story/character through the bitter parts. A soothing balm for the reader torn egos who invested so many hours of vicarious life through the characters. The ending may be bittersweet but the MC earned it.