What is it about stories that don’t have a happy ending that we love so much?
Bad enough is the shock of a story that has an unexpected sad ending, but what of the ones that we already know aren’t going to end well? We know it’s going to be upsetting and even heartbreaking, so why do we bother to go see those movies or read those books?
Well to answer that, if you met someone absolutely amazing that you really connected with and then down the line found out that this particular person had a significant;y reduced life due to illness or other affliction… or you’re some kind of freaky seer that knows this person is going to meet an early end, what would you do?
Would you tell that person that it’s more than you can handle and walk away, or would you stick with them, make the most of what little time you have with that person and make their lives happy… as well as your own better for just knowing such an incredible person.
The initial knee jerk response would be of course the latter, though not everyone would. Many don’t want to endure that level of pain and do the best they can to prevent it. Thus walking away isn’t always something you can avoid, and if this is you, no problem. It’s a situation that no one should ever be thrust into. Though I would point out that you may regret such a decision later on, but it is what it is. I don’t judge.
That said, you probably wouldn’t understand the people who like the tragic romance.
However, if you are one of the people who would say yes, then you already know why people like the tragic romance. Think about it, you’re sticking with said person because, while the end will be painful, the road that leads there will (hopefully) be full of joy, adventure, and excitement, or at the very least, happiness. It’s that happiness and that road that will easily eclipse the tragedy at the end. Will it hurt? Oh yes, it’ll hurt, but not forever. Eventually the pain dulls and you’re left with the fond memories that you can always look back on and smile about. In the end, as time goes by, you’ve become better for knowing that person.
Well, to a much lesser extend, it’s the same with the tragic romance story or movie. Too often, the best stories are the ones that don’t end well. You may not be able to experience them more than once and no one could blame you for that, but what a ride that one experience was, huh? I think most people would say that, in the end, the trip was more than worth the ending.
One other point on the tragic romance, it also gives closure to many. In stories that end this way, there will almost always never be a sequel… unless you’re a superhero comic in which case you kill off a character to bring them back some point down the line. But I digress, often in those stories, this closure is needed, otherwise you could wind up with a sequel where the characters split up somewhere in between (Jurassic Park… lookin at you!!!)
When there is no happily ever after, there is no happily ever after to ruin. So honestly, those of us that enjoy the tragic romance, do so i think, because we’d like to believe that we’d be the second person in the question. We’re willing to make that trade, heartbreak at the end for a ride to remember along the way and I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad thing.
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Catch you on the flip side!