Authors Helping Authors

Books, Stories, Legends: Happily Ever After is great. Bittersweet can sometimes be better.

Happy Reblog Friday!

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1394074_pink_roseYesterday, I wrote about the reasons we love “Happily Ever After” in stories, and why we are drawn to fairy tale endings.

While I do love and need the occasional fairy tale ending, most of my favorite novels–including Les Miserables and Don Quixote–have endings that are bittersweet, if not downright tragic. Sometimes, a writer just can’t write Happily Ever After.

I’ve always preferred Shakespeare’s tragedies to his comedies. I like stories with weight and substance, stories that make me think and reassess things. As a general rule, and in my personal case, stories that are bittersweet in tone do that to a greater extent than lighthearted comedies.

But why?


I connect with bittersweet endings because they ring true to me. After all, real life tends to be bittersweet most of the time.

We all have to deal with illness and with grief, some of us at a…

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