Happy or Sad Endings?

I’ll bet a lot of people have trouble deciding how to end their books, so I made this chart to simplify things somewhat. Every genre and specific book requires a slightly different approach, so I included some specific genres in this chart.

Happy Endings


-Might bring a romance or drama with other conflicts to a comfortable ending.

-Can make your readers happier.

-Generally, in a book where the main character goes through a ton of crap, it can be good to tie it up with a positive ending instead of ruining things even further.


-Can be rather one-dimensional.

-In Westerns, really non-original.

-Fairy tales end this way and they don’t particularly captivate people.

-People might get mad and want a sad ending in a horror story. It also is a bit too optimistic for most

post-apocalyptic books.

Sad Endings


-Makes people think more.

-Can really elevate the quality and complexity of a book if done right.

-Might hammer home a message better than a happy ending.


-Can ruin your readers if they feel the sad ending is undeserved.

-Your poor main characters.  😦

-If done in an already-sad book, will make the book unbearably grim for many people.

Mixed Endings


-Not as depressing as a sad ending, more complicated than a happy ending.

-Still intellectually-stimulating.

-Hard to decipher.


-Hard to decipher.  🙂


-Possibly leaves people thinking forever about what should have happened.


What do you think?

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