People sometimes question the worth of sad stories in comparison to uplifting ones, or deplore the fact that a lot of creative fiction deals with some of life’s less savoury aspects, but personally I think that fiction is the ideal place for as much misery as you can handle.
I don’t need to write about happiness and I don’t need to read about it. I find it where I can in my real-world and love it and appreciate it and treasure it as best I can, but I can’t preserve it. To do that would kill it; bleach its wings and stifle its intoxicating flickers.
So I leave happiness free by not trying to write but, conversely, write about sadness to let it out of the cages our minds build for it. Once the sadness’s are gone, once they available to be pawed over by all and sundry, their claws are blunted.
I read well-fondled sadness’s to exercise my empathy, to feel the stretch that reminds me that feeling something for strangers, fictional or not, is what gives me everything else.
3 thoughts on “Why shouldn’t stories be sad?”
Good post! I find it really hard to write about being happy and make it interesting.
Thanks Eimear! Maybe it’s because happiness is so darn boring 😉
I finally got my copy of the Stinging Fly last night, looking forward to having a good look through.
Most of the books I read are riddled with sadness and tragedy but i think that is mostly becasue i can relate to those characters the most. When i write, most are stories of victims of the darkest of acts. I love your post.