Happy Endings | Teen Ink

Happy Endings MAG

September 14, 2009
By Melanie Petrola BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
Melanie Petrola BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I have noticed that many of the fiction and nonfiction works published in Teen Ink have a positive outlook, a happy ending. While these are pleasant to read, one has to ask, when is optimism too much? I'm all for positive thinking, but readers should also be exposed to the darker side of life. Why not publish a story about someone who experiences a tragedy and gets nothing in return? After all, that's life.

Also, some stories feature young people who have overcome drug addictions or eating disorders. While these experiences are appreciated, what about those who face an addiction but are unable to defeat it?

Not every story has a happy ending. I think it would benefit Teen Ink's readers to see both kinds: happy and real.

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This article has 21 comments.

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Mar. 11 2012 at 12:09 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

Have you read Grimm's fairy tales? Those aren't the pleasant fairy tales where the guy always snags the girl.

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Mar. 11 2012 at 12:08 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

Yeah, I agree. Life isn't always happy. I write mostly stuff that isn't considered "cheerful". A peer editor from my class after reading my story told me that it was really sad, which it was. Real life doesn't alwaays work out.

on Jun. 10 2011 at 3:55 pm
lovelymoon SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
6 articles 0 photos 15 comments
I truly agree with you and me, like many others reading TI out there, do enjoy angsty pieces due to the emotion that's in there but optimistic pieces are also very important to have, especially in a magazine geared towards teenagers. At this stage in our life, we have to know that things will get better and that we can overcome things like bulemia or cutting or a close friend dying. That's why true stories filled with optimism are so great to have in TI.

on May. 8 2011 at 3:42 pm
WritingSpasms, Los Angeles, California
0 articles 0 photos 121 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Devils run when a good man goes to war."
- River Song from Doctor Who (Ep. A Good Man Goes to War)

I don't mind happy endings, but I find that dark conclusions are easier for me to write, simply because there's more passion and realism.

on Apr. 9 2011 at 4:12 pm
we read books to get out of everyday life NOT to read about some tragic death where nobody gets the guy or everybody commits suicide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when peple read a book they want a sad beggining a mystery as to whether someone will die in the end (maybe they do on rare occasions) and then we want a happy ending like i said before we read books to GET OUT of reality!!!!!!!!!!!!

loms said...
on Mar. 14 2011 at 10:18 am
ok job and good

on Dec. 28 2010 at 8:32 am
i agree completely. when i was little i wouldnt read fairytales, still wont. i agree. in alll these storys people overcome everything. sometimes even death. its not life.

on Dec. 27 2010 at 3:29 pm
writingrocks GOLD, Brooklyn, New York
16 articles 23 photos 145 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You have to learn to love yourself before you learn to love others."

I think it is always good to have a positive outlook in writing, but maybe the darker side is also very interesting. But parents do not like their children exposed to negative endings that might change their point of view in life. Teen Ink is a very great magazine, and parents do appreciate the hard work, but would they like it if it was "bad"?

Naninee said...
on Dec. 12 2010 at 3:46 am

I agree with you.Writers these days have the tendency to write stories with happy endings.It's not bad.I mean,why shouldn't it all come to a happy ending?Than we could all be pleased,right?

The thing is,real life doesn't have so many happy endings.So I also think that (and agree with you on that one) those unhappy endings should be present as well as the sad ones.We should be aware of the fact that not everything has a positive ending.

Experiences from other teenagers,good and bad ones,are priceless because they give us the insight in both bright and dark sides of what life has to offer.

Happy endings are great,but let's be realistic.Not everyone is destined with happy ending and not everyone's life ends up in a Fairytale style.

on Nov. 3 2010 at 7:33 am
KRR131719 PLATINUM, McDonough, Georgia
22 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
* More than we rely on other people, we rely on other peoples ignorance.
*Just a little thank you, to all the morons that led me to learning to write well; you are the razors of the pen that draws the blood I write with. I owe it all to your mistakes.

I think its just a mattr of how much you read. Want something without a happy ending? Read "fair try" by me :P But you're right, people gravitate toward "it all gets better" because its hard to admit that, actually, it might not. Its an 'ignorance is bliss' kind of thing. You just have to find someone who can actually see the darkness that glares them in the face.

on Sep. 20 2010 at 6:05 pm
Carmella_Hastings GOLD, Atlanta, Georgia
10 articles 1 photo 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Walt Emerson

Forgot to add- there is a book series that may be a little lower than teen level that I tried to read (hated it- too many sad endings) it's called the Series of Unfortunate events. Idk if you'd like it much but you could give it a try if you're looking for sorrowful endings.

on Sep. 20 2010 at 6:03 pm
Carmella_Hastings GOLD, Atlanta, Georgia
10 articles 1 photo 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Walt Emerson

While the traditional happy ending is a great ending, sad ones may be just as bad. I totally agree that we could use some sad endings, but I usually prefer one with happy endings, mainly because I prefer a book to leave me with positive thoughts. But you have a great point.

Amieee said...
on Aug. 17 2010 at 2:47 am
yup, happy ending stories are nice, but it's good to have a sad one every once in a while

Shelly-T GOLD said...
on Aug. 13 2010 at 9:49 am
Shelly-T GOLD, Romeoville, Illinois
13 articles 0 photos 71 comments
Thats great, I never thought of that, but you're right. 

sambo SILVER said...
on May. 30 2010 at 10:37 pm
sambo SILVER, South Burlington, Vermont
7 articles 0 photos 8 comments
I agree with you 100%.  It is important for people--especially young people like us--to have some views to rather negative or unfortunate things.  Stories should be as real as life.

on Dec. 18 2009 at 10:14 am
LovelyMystery BRONZE, Levene, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"I'm Beautiful! It doesn't have to make sense!"
"I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine"

You can check out one of my Stories. It is called "Rose Petals" It might be a story that you are looking for.

on Nov. 24 2009 at 10:37 pm
DuskAndDestiny BRONZE, Talahassee, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams! Purge all thoughts of the life you knew before! Close your eyes; let your spirit soar! And you'll live as you've never lived before! ~Phantom, Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera.

I'm a sucker for a well-written not-necessarily-happy-ending. I'm more of a fantasy or science fiction reader, but happy endings can take away from them for me. I like realistic endings, rather than a "happily ever after". Thank you for putting this out in the open; not everyone likes happy endings (all the time, at least).

PK4evr ELITE said...
on Oct. 3 2009 at 5:01 pm
PK4evr ELITE, Allen, Texas
105 articles 5 photos 107 comments

Favorite Quote:
When life gives you lemons, make grape juice, then watch everyone wonder how you did it!

hi there! i read your article in the magazine. if you're looking for a story without a happy ending, you could try "One Action, Many Consequences" or "She Sabotaged My Suicide Attempt". Both pieces are by me. the second one lets the reader decide the ending. let me know if that works out for you! -natalie

Matt-JT said...
on Sep. 20 2009 at 6:47 am
Both of the pieces I have published on this site have "dark" matter confined within the pages. Death, greed, confusion, anger, violence, all make up the bulk of my two stories and for the first several months that these were on the website published, I had a hope of getting them in the print. That died away with the main character in the second story. Even though, my stories can hold the top of the fiction's most popular list for days in a row, it's the audiances that limit the content of the print. Little kids probably read this and teachers and schools order it for their classrooms and libraries. I'm not saying that I agree with it, but I understand why it has limitations.

But hey, if there was one issue a year or something that only contained this "dark" matter, and there were warnings on it, "the following contains graphic and mature content, reader discretion is adviced," then at least we would have an equal shot at getting published, even if it was for one issue.

senryuu13 said...
on Sep. 16 2009 at 6:33 pm
senryuu13, Kathmandu, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I know I'm new to the site, but I cannot neither totally agree nor disagree. I believe that it's hope and optimism that truly brings out the joy in life. At this point, a number of people will scoff at me and ask me "you for real, deusch?"

Yeah. I am. And I mean it.

Yes we shouldnt over-do it. But consider this- as you yourself stated- what if a drug addict reads about another drug addict unable to overcome it? Personally, I think it may make it worse for him. He might find comfort in knowing hes not the only one but then again, wouldn't he be more hopeful knowing that the addiction can be defeated than knowing that someone else couldn't defeat it?

True, it might frustrate but it still keeps hope alive, right? And that in turn, keeps US alive.

Still, i agree that there should be SOME dark ones here. Reality IS appreciated.