Honest opinon - Endings that do not end on a happy note

I’m almost done with my outline for an apocalyptic story I’m creating. The ending I have planned though, I’m not sure if it will be appreciated? All the stories I have read so far ends on a happy note (every single time, and if they do not it’s multiple endings where you can get a happy end).

I can’t really reveal the ending without spoiling the entire story (so this will sound really weird), but how would you feel about reading about characters surviving (depending on what you choose some might not), at the end hope will present itself only for it at the end be for nothing (it will show though why it was for nothing so it makes sense and is not just a nonhappy ending just for the sake of it).

Will it be a jerk move of me to not make it end happily?

  • I do not like non happy endings.
  • I like them.
  • Depends (If you choose this feel free to explain).

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It honestly depends.

It really depends on the flow of the story and how the events happen. Like if lots of bad things continuously happen in the story and no one is really solving it, I don’t think a happy ending would match that. And if lots of good things continuously happen and all of a sudden everyone dies just for the hell of it, that wouldn’t make sense, right?

I myself do not really mind if the ending is happy or sad. If that is what is best for the story, then go ahead! Do what is best for your story. I’d only really mind if the ending does not match what happened in the story AT ALL.

Though, I will be honest, I do get mad when a story I am really attached to ends on a sad note :laughing:.


I think it depends on the story really, I’ve got a story planned (not started) and it’s got a very sad ending. I was telling my little cousin about my plan and she said “she’d be gutted and shocked.” But that’s sort of the reaction I want. If you can shock someone and make them feel sad with a story ending they you have done well as they have obviously connected with the character and their story.

I am debating on wether or not to make an alternative ending or not just so that when they have seen the sad ending they get to see the happy version too but I don’t know if that would ruin it.

depends on the story. and how it is written. i read this very good book once where th mc got killed in the end. which i was very angry over. not because of the death. that was actually the best way it could end. but the author had lay up to so much in the last couple of chapters. things there was suppouse to happen. and then just nah forget about that and die

That’s a very good point thank you. Baiting with too many good things only to twist it at the end is the last thing I’d want and I will keep it in mind! (Maybe a good mixture of good and bad things would be the best, that way it might not be as surprising that the outcome wasn’t the happiest…)

Thank you for sharing your opinion :smile:

To be honest same, i have a bit of a love-hate relationship with endings like that :sweat_smile:

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Hmm that is true and a good point. Getting readers to connect with the characters is the most important otherwise they wouldn’t care even if it ends happily or sad. Will keep that in mind :smiley:

It does sound interesting, if the happy ending makes sense you could always make a bonus chapter for it!

Ohh I see! That’s one thing I’m scared of by doing an ending like that (that the hope during the end that turned out to be for nothing will make people feel very unpleased). Would the story you read had been better if there were signs of uncertainty? (Like if the author had presented that there was a risk MC would’ve died so it didn’t just happen out of no where) :thinking:

well the story was about her dating a very crazy man and she could not out of the reletaionship (he was king of the world) and had threat to her kill her family and so on a lot. it was more like in the last couple of chapters there was talk of deal with the devil and and excapeing plan was been lay. then the evil king says he will let her go. but reallise he cant let her go but he cant keep her so he kills her.

Hi it depends…if you want a lot readers going with happy end is on safe side…but if you feel the need to write your story as you feel it - go for it even if it might bring less readers. Not everybody likes the same. Most of this stories here are some kind of klise…which is ot wrong nor good it is simply how the stories are. Most of theme do not bring much new and are more the less slushy romance. If your end make sence why not…but if you make people love your characters thay will probably not be hapy about the fact that you kil them all…so it realy depend on the whole story feeling if as a reader I would understand the reason why you killd MC…like game of thrones.I am not expecting happyending that mine favorite character Jon Snow wil survie, because there were so many dead already I know I should beter not make big hopes.:smiley:

It really depends on the story. For example, my story has 3 different endings (sad ending (Mc get killed), happier ending with LI, happier ending without LI) and the readers can choose thier own ending for the story. All three endings are fair.

By some stories, I don’t like happy endings cos it’s too unrealistic when the characters had to process a lot and live their life careless without any (mental) issues from the previous events. So, it doesn’t make any sense and I don’t like it. I only like happy endings which they’re more realistic based on the previous events and make more sense. Sad endings are great too and it depends on the story.

Ohh I see! Yeah that does sound like a last minute twist, I get it more now. Thank you for leaving your opinion :smile:

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Ohh I see. It’s not really killing a character but yeah you’re right having a reason gotta be important too. It’s good to hear that there are readers who would like to read something different than the same romance stories going on haha :smile:

Hello thank you for leaving your opinion! I will keep it in mind and try to make sure as much as possible that it’s realistic enough so it doesn’t come as a surprise :grin:

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yea like i would have been fine with her death. but it happen so sudden and made it felt like the last 3 chapters was wasted cause nothing there happen in them matter.

kinda like the end find of the last twilight movie(have not read the books) big fight turn out to be a vision and was a scene completely wasted

Like the others have said it depends if it fits in with your story and make sense go for it.
A lot of happy ending has ruined a lot of would be good stories. The one I’m working on same with you I’m working on my outline and my endings and mine will be a bitter sweet ending there no way I could end mine with happily ever after.

While it depends on the case, endings like that can be really great. I for instance, really like that kinda thing, happy endings are a serious cliche, you always expect a story (weather it’s a book, a movie. an episode story or whatever) to end with everyone happy and everything perfect, there’s something really exciting about an interesting, twisty ending that doesn’t end happily, somehow the story is even more engaging, even though you’ve finished reading it and it’s just so much more fun, because you never expect it, never see it coming and you either end up smiling or frowning but it’s so fun nevertheless, I say go for it!

Btw, my favorite book(s trilogy-- but it’s like one book) is about an apocalypse and there’s a whole process thing there and bunch of really rough stuff only so at the end the protagonists-- who tried to save the world find out that what they’ve been doing was really to cause an alternative apocalypse and that that was all for nothing, one of the protagonists died at the end and the end was somewhat happy but ended on a really bad note and everybody being grieving and traumatized and it was seriously epic, no one would have seen that coming, that’s an example, just saying-- your idea could definitely work!

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Well, I, as a person, like to think. I enjoy it when a story stays in my mind, I enjoy crying over it, I enjoy thinking about it before I go to bed. Why? Because I know that means I’m going to remember it. So many stories I’ve read that ended happily I ended up forgetting after a few weeks, but stories with sad/open/important endings? Never. The thing about these kinds of endings is that they do what most happy endings don’t. They deliver a message. So if you read a story with a beautiful message behind it, with a strong ending, you’re going to remember it. This is what I want for MY stories. Obviously, some happy endings are memorable and thinkable, but most of them are just endings. They don’t give you something to remember them by. They don’t deliver a message.
I, as a reader, or watcher, lowkey think that an ending (or not endings, but just a series or a book or something) that doesn’t give me something to think about is underestimating my intelligence. I know it’s not that serious, but that’s how I feel.
I, as an author, think that if my endings don’t make people think, I need my episodes to make them think. If my episodes don’t make them, my characters and dialogues should do it. If my characters and dialogues don’t, I failed my job as an author.

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