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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Endings

No, it's not what you think. I'm talking happy endings as in books, movies, TV shows etc. How important is it to you? Do you feel like every story should have a happy ending? I struggled with this very topic in my first book, Enchanted Island. I originally intended to have one of my characters die, and then had a change of heart. I thought it would have a negative impact on the younger readers. I consulted with my friend and fellow author on it, and then decided not to kill the character off. Now in hindsight I'm wondering if I could have stuck with my original plan. Either way, I'm proud of the story and the readers enjoy, as is.

This topic crossed my mind today because a few weeks ago I finally started watching the television series, Sons of Anarchy. My son had been on me to tune in but I was so many seasons behind, 5 1/2 to be exact. I didn't feel like I had time or the patience to catch up to the current season. But one day I gave it a shot and watched the first episode. (Thanks Netflix) I was hooked! Addicted was more like it. I ended up watching the entire 5 1/2 seasons in one week's time. I binge watched the hell out of the show! I even left my son in the dust, who had not yet watched the current season. So anyway, season 6 concluded last night. It did not have a happy ending. I was okay with it. I thought it was fantastic.

A number of viewers have expressed their deep hatred of the season finale and vowed never to tune in again. (lies!) A major character was killed off in a brutal manner; one I had no idea had this much of a following. I personally disliked this character which is why I'm unfazed by their departure. But even when one of my beloved characters was killed off in an earlier season, I didn't feel a need to stop watching the show. Every story can't have a happy ending, can it?

It made for a compelling story line. It was heartbreaking and exquisitely delivered by the actors involved. It made a serious impression on me. I was compelled to keep watching because this character's death catapulted the story ahead. I wanted to keep watching. No, I needed to keep watching. I needed to witness the vengeance that was sure to come. I got my satisfaction when my beloved character's death was avenged! I'm not sure why the viewers who vowed to stop watching don't see it this way.

You don't watch Sons of Anarchy for sunshine and rainbows. This is a show about outlaws. I'm not 100% certain, as I don't know any outlaws, but I'm pretty sure that their lives are not glamorous or has many happy endings. It seems like the way of this world for innocent people to get caught in the cross hairs. Would an unhappy ending ruin a book, movie or TV series for you?

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