I’ve often wondered if I could write such a story. I have a hate/love relationship with sad endings. Should I challenge myself to write one? Would it make a masterpiece out of a cheesy, happily-ever-after? Have you written a story that Sontag would approve of? One that breaks your heart?
As writers, should we be purveyors of escape at the end of the day? Dealing out lighthearted romps, whodonits with neat endings, and happily-ever-afters, floating comfortably above controversy and reality? Or should we be shining a light into the dark corners of human existence and misfortune? There is no harder profession than writing and no higher calling than to tell the truth as we see it. But what is truth and do people want to read it?
I don't want or even expect a happy ending, but I want a satisfying one.
Atonement (remember that one?) broke my heart. (I hated it!) Cormac McCarthy breaks my heart every time, yet I return to his stories again and again. I’m a glutton for tragedy, so why can’t I write one? I fear it’s a flaw, the sign of an immature writer. And while it’s true, that I hate novels with sad endings, those are the ones that stick with me, the ones I can’t forget. So I wonder…do I have it in me to write the only story that seems worth writing? I fear it would break my heart.