Lindsay Doran, film producer and missionary for mood-elevating movies got to the heart of that question in a recently published article. Many of her conclusions relate to the world of books too. While she didn’t want to create a rigid formula for a great movie, she wanted to challenge the Hollywood notion that a movie is only art if it ends badly and that you’ll only win an award if you write about misery.
One of her chief findings was that what audiences care about most are relationships and the positive resolution of them, so not so much the character winning, but sharing that accomplishment with a significant other. An example of this would be ‘The King’s Speech’, in which he conquers his stammer then shares the victory with his wife, daughters and the cheering crowds.
There is value in a story with a feel good factor; it’s a quick fix, literary or visual form of Prozac. Indeed, laughter trumps any drug but personally, I think the temporary lift in mood is soon forgotten. For a story with a lasting impression, there are other elements involved. Remember, in ‘Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince’, Dumbledore dies. In ‘Titanic’, 1500 passengers go down with the ship and then Jack doesn’t make it either. As author Nike Marshall astutely puts it, ‘happy endings can be cliché and diminish the impact of the story. Less than happy is more believable’. Appropriate is a key word, concluding a story with a satisfactory, even less than ideal event or series of events. As author Emerald Barnes surmises, ‘Some stories don’t have the option of having a happy ending’.
‘Life is made up of pleasurable and horrific experiences and there’s nothing wrong with a book or movie telling a story that shines a light on our failures’.
--Denise DeSio, author of ‘Roses’s Will’
In the writing world, it’s always stated ‘show, don’t tell’ and this can tailor a beautiful conclusion where the reader is given the satisfaction of finality, yet their imagination is given the licence to create what happens next. As science fiction author, Glenn Scrimshaw puts it, ‘the legend of King Arthur works so well at that; a bitter sweet ending but the promise of Arthur’s return when needed.’
What everything is leading to is, in fact, the emotional involvement of the reader in the final moments of a story. Look back at the sadness of the death of Dumbledore, a character that readers were very attached to, or the tragedy of the huge loss of life in ‘Titanic’. As author Carlyle Labuschagne states, ‘I like drama and feeling like my heart is about to explode with sorrow’.
What we really want as readers, therefore, is a powerful climax after the build-up as opposed to a puft! The engagement of powerful emotions can leave a far greater impact on a reader than a chocolate box ending. There is something so compelling about tales of misery, because we all experience loss, even abuse in our lives or those close to us. Through a story, we can release that sadness in a positive way and observe how characters deal with their challenges. I believe there’s another factor at work too, it’s a quality called resilience’. A character who survives loss, abuse or tragedy may be far more inspiring than the traditional, commercial hero because it sends a powerful signal that infuses us to endure - ‘Whatever life throws at me, I’m still here. Bring it on!’
'The Truth Will Set You Free'
In the second installment of the Seven Point Eight series, the legacy of the OOBE project weighs heavily on the conscience of Dr Paul Eldridge. Tahra Mamoun needs to muster all her courage and venture back into the alternate dimensions of reality. Through a series of challenging, surreal and frightening experiences, she comes to comprehend the destructive power she can yield and must face her own demons in the process.
Paul continues his quest to understand the ancient knowledge of the cosmos, while dark forces seek to hijack his research to further a secret agenda. With their lives in jeopardy, Paul and Tahra confront their enemies against an international backdrop featuring the pyramids of Giza and the peaks of Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Sam and Ava endeavour to uncover their past, even though it may irrevocably change their lives.
In a tale of courage and tragedy, love and betrayal, their lives are interwoven around the demons of one man, Max Richardson, who'll stop at nothing to achieve his objectives.
Written in the style of a TV series, Seven Point Eight draws together quantum physics, psychic powers, alternate dimensions, time travel, past lives, ancient wisdom and conspiracy in a soap opera for the soul.
It’s the ideal read for lovers of sci-fi, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, metaphysics, ‘Lost’, ‘Fringe’, ‘Touch’, and Dan Brown books.
Marie Harbon has worked in both the retail and fitness industry. She has a degree in sport and fitness, and taught group exercise for several years, delivering aerobics and Pilates. For two years, she delivered BTEC sport courses and has also instructed dance and sport with children.
Marie is a member of Nottingham Writers Studio, Her future plans include not only completing the 'Seven Point Eight' series, but involve writing YA, children's and adult books, short stories, novellas and scripts.
Aside from writing, Marie is a self-confessed fabric geek and purveyor of beautiful, often ostentatious bags, bustiers and clothing. She lives in the town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, which is in England.
Website - www.marieharbon.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/marie.harbon
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SevenPointEightChronicles
Twitter - @marieharbon
The more blog tour stops you comment at, the better chances you have of winning. You can check out Marie's other posts here.