HermioneLee wrote:Thanks kizernix and KD :)
kizernix, I definitely agree with what you said about the judges wanting to see upbeat endings, with the COVID 19 pandemic all around the world. And yes, I also saw his blog post that he didn’t want to see stories about pandemics.
KD, wow, I still can’t believe that you were a finalist for six times! And it seems like you have great experience on writing story conclusions.
Perhaps I could find a balance between "tear-jerking" and "uplifting." Maybe that would make the judges laugh and cry at the same time
You are a master if you could pull off evoking both emotions at once, Hermione.
In the meantime, I will suggest focusing on the poignant ending. It makes readers cry, but it's filled with emotional gravity and hope for a better future for the protagonist. You know what I did in "Super-Duper Moongirl..." That kind of an ending is what you should be trying to achieve. A soul crushing decision made, with the hope of a better future for a protagonist we have come to love. Make the readers fall in love with your heroine on page one, and they will ride with them to the bitter end. But in Western culture, which is what you're selling to here, readers will expect hope at the end of the story. David Farland will be looking for that, he's said as much.
I think Kate said it's much harder making a reader laugh at the end, and that's true. And there's an issue with laughter. Although the world desperately needs it, it is not taken seriously--it's laughter! Sadness and sacrifice has weight, whereas levity is light and fluffy. Note how many comedies are made in motion pictures. Eddie Murphy has played brilliant roles in many. They don't get Oscars. They aren't even mentioned. Why? Because the dark tales of personal turmoil they're competing against have apparent weight. In the scales of judging, weighty wins. Which isn't always fair. I think they should have an Oscar for Best Comedy. Comedy is one of the hardest genres to write in.
Even though Dave calls for it each year, you'll only see one comedic piece make it, if any, in an anthology. I suspect since he's calling for it, he's sending more than we see up to the quarterly judges, but they don't stand up against the heavy, poignant, pull-on-your-heartstrings pieces.
Just things to consider in trying to win this contest. Reality is reality. As always, you must do what you feel is right, of course. :)
All the beast!