The Trial of Character Assassination
There's a popular piece of advice. It goes something like this: to write a compelling story, you need to murder your darlings.
In other words, make them suffer, ruin their lives, rip all hope out of their heart. And yes, sometimes actually kill (by removing them from the story).
I thought I was within 5k of being done with my first draft of After Her Death. But I just realized that I have to murder a darling. I won't say whether that murder is actual death or just a very painful event, but it's got to happen.
And I'm really not happy about it. *sigh* I get attached to my characters. I breathe life into them and it can be hard to shatter their dreams. Even if (sometimes) its not permanent damage.
We'll see what you beta readers think. Maybe you'll tell me that's terrible and I really should opt for the warm and sticky happy ending, rather than the bittersweet.
Or maybe you'll say, "More Mayhem, please."
Regardless, I think I have more than 5k to go. I'm not a fan of cliff hangers. :-)
Question for you: Do you go for the neatly-wrapped-up-in-a-bow endings, endings with some loose ends where you'll know they'll be okay, or severe, abrupt endings that let you create your own end of the story?