It’s funny how sometimes we can’t deal with the end we’re given. Like it conflicts so much with the way we consider the world that there’s no way to think ourselves through such an ending.  It’s a cognitive impossibility tangled in a conundrum. It’s an equation that my heart cannot solve.

Sometimes, when I can’t think my way through an ending presented to me, I change it entirely. It’s not just books, but music and film and art and sometimes real lives too. It’s not just sadness, but unfinished words and strings left untied. I’ve wasted days thinking a way around the death of Sirius* and working out a way in which Georgia doesn’t become a zombie right in front of her brother. ** I’ve spent a better part of my life making sure there is not just a glimmer of hope for fictional characters, but completeness too. I give them all endings.

I understand there must be strife in the world. I understand there is struggle. It’s simply that sometimes I think the characters in art, and music, and life, should win. Sometimes I think people deserve my small additions because I can’t fix the world on my own right now, but I can make the one in my head a little bit brighter if I try.  In my mind, whenever Hazel says “we will die” in that oblivion bit in The Fault in Our Stars, I replace “we” with “all toasters”. It’s still sad to me, because toasters are fabulous devices that provide ninety percent of all my meals, but somehow it’s more manageable.

I spend so much time making things okay in my head, it’s funny to realise that I don’t do it in my own writing. Maybe I do fix things in my mind, maybe to me everything is okay up there, but mostly I spend my words writing pain (let’s pretend this results in agency) and suffering (let’s also pretend this is in the name of plot development) for my characters. I’ve split up more friends and family than I care to admit. I once chopped an arm off in the name of forwarding the story (don’t worry, it was somebody else’s arm). Explosions often happen for no particular reason.*** I’ll make a character’s bed and then I’ll litter it with broken glass and spiders.

I’m not sure what this says about me (if anything) other than the fact I am a walking contradiction. I cry (ugly ugly tears) when stories get a little heavy, but only when they’re not my own.

How do you like your endings? Sunny-side up? I once read that you should always write from the place that you feel from, and if it’s an angry or dark or twisted place that’s okay because it’s the emotion that matters. Fingers crossed it’s still okay to do that because phahahahahaha sometimes it’s so twisted I can’t find the middle.

** also, more spoilers.
*** okay, so there are reasons it’s just sometimes those reasons are a little vague…


  • Mia Hayson

    I immediately thought of Game of Thrones and the Red Wedding when I read this. It's been 3 years since I've read that book and I'm STILL mad. The most horrible thing about it, though, is how it's completely inevitable in retrospect. Good guys aren't exempt from the consequences of their bad choices. (Like with Harry and Sirius, Harry is partly to blame for his death, and must come to terms with how his desire to be a hero and a rebel led to the death and endangerment of people he cares about. It also serves the cruel but necessary function of having every adult mentor and protector stripped away from him until he has no choice but to become an adult himself and confront Voldemort alone.) I guess I don't mind it in Game of Thrones because the bad guys come to horrible ends just as often as the good guys. The problem, though, is we never *want* the good guys to come to horrible ends. :'(

    Just as annoying to me, though, are the stories where everything wraps up perfectly. I don't mind if no one dies. But if they achieve victory without the having to sacrifice something or do anything morally challenging, I feel cheated. I feel like they didn't learn anything, or that the author couldn't bear to challenge his or her darlings (or readers). I am reading a book like that right now, and getting progressively more annoyed as I approach the epilogue. Generally, if a book needs an epilogue to wrap things up, that's a red flag to me. It's not always the case, but it usually means "Hollywood ending."

    I usually don't try to "fix" endings in my head, though. It probably comes from doing Shakespeare. Everyone dies in the end, and even the comedies aren't always all that funny. A tragedy lets you participate in the anxiety, fear, and grief leading up to the hero's demise — a way to experience those intense emotions in something that, thank God, isn't your own life. In that way, it is escapist. I think there's a lot of emotional value in catharsis.

  • Mia Hayson

    Jim Carey here is frightening me and the children! 🙂

    As for endings – it depends how I love or loathe the characters! LOL! No, Duckie does not take it like a man and watch Andie swan off with wotsisname in Pretty in Pink with his blessing! Bleagh!

    Your new blog is lovely and wide!! Yay!

    Take care


  • Mia Hayson

    I am definitely a happily-ever-after kind of girl in my writing, which is why I shocked myself when my MC's boyfriend died tragically at the beginning of my WIP. BUT IT HAS TO HAPPEN FOR THE BOOK.

    I don't tend to rewrite endings in my head – I only rewrite things when they don't make sense or when I have to appease my sense of continuity *cough*Mummy3*cough*
    BUT an ending I don't like can ruin a book or a series for me. I read Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas and even though I liked the main character and the premise of the book I HATED the ending of it SO MUCH that I cannot even think about reading any more of the series. Ever. It was so unfulfilling and anger-making to me that I can't even rewrite it in my head.

    Also I want to know what book/movie/whatever you are talking about with the zombie and Georgia because I think I need to read/watch it.

  • Mia Hayson

    Sacrifice! Epilogues! The Red Wedding! OMG yes! All of this is so true.

    You're right, of course, about sad moments. Often it is necessary and is meant to show us something but still I'm always rooting for the good peeps. In Game of Thrones I guess I allow it because I know, by now, that everyone in the book is going to die at some point and eventually it will just be 1000 pages of snow described in such a fabulous way I won't be able to stop reading.

  • Mia Hayson

    Phahaha. Well, yes, if a character totally deserves something in my mind I forget about giving them a better ending mostly.

  • Mia Hayson

    But I have totally ruined the book omg! I feel so bad now. It's FEED by MIRA GRANT and it is really fabulous but also made me cry so yes.

  • Mia Hayson

    Haha, I believe GRRM got annoyed in an interview and said something like yes, everyone dies, EVERYONE, and the book I'm writing right now is just this 500-page description of snow blowing over graves.


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