Happy Stories Are Boring

My husband is always my first reader. He reads the chapters of my novel as I write them. He reads my flash fiction before I post it. He reads everything I write. We’d been talking about some of my work the other day when he said something that completely surprised me.

“You don’t write happy stories, do you?” he asked.

“Ye-es,” I said. “I write lots of happy stories. This week’s flash fiction is happy.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is! William and Theo–”

“–aren’t happy.”

I paused while I considered. “Okay, probably not. And the ending isn’t happy. But what about last week’s story? Judy killed the vampire and–”

“–and Charles is a virgin. Not happy.”

“O-kay… How about the one before? About Charlene? Yes, things are pretty rotten but she meets the guy of her dreams in the end.”

“Happy ending. Not a happy story.”

“Or the rock band in the zombie apocalypse?”

“Not happy.”

Vlad Dracula II?”


“How about the one where–”


“Or when–”


“What about when the tooth fairies destroy the world?”

He didn’t even answer. He just looked at me.

“Fine.” I pouted.

“It’s okay, it’s not a bad thing. You just don’t write happy stories.”

“Yeah… Well… Happy stories are boring, anyway.”


Filed under The Inner Geek, Writing

16 responses to “Happy Stories Are Boring

  1. Leave the laughter to others. Stick with what you’re good at; misery. πŸ˜‰

  2. Zen

    This reminds me of my situation with my fiance. He writes the happiest things ever and I hit him with my gloomy words, and he’s all, “Can’t you ever write anything happy? You’re such a sadist.” Haha.

  3. I’m super jealous, my hubby has never read anything I’ve written. I think I might have forced a flash fiction or two on him once, but he hasn’t read any of my shorts or either of my novels. Apparently, he only likes non-fiction. Blech!!!

    • I can’t even imagine what it would be like not to have my husband read my work. He’s usually clamouring for more. (Which is very helpful when I’m having a “I can’t do this” kind of week.)

      I’m hoping you have someone else in your life that desperately loves to read what you’ve written.

  4. Robbie Eberhardt

    I feel the need to point out that I loooove Jo’s work. All of it. Even the gloomy why-has-this-guy-not-stabbed-himself-with-a-salad-fork stuff. Because she’s insanely talented.

    But I do get a good laugh out of her love of messed up people. I’m really glad that she has other people out there on the interwebs who do too, and who love it as much as I do πŸ™‚

    And, by the by; neener neener for getting to read her stuff before you do πŸ™‚

  5. Stories that are all happy would be boring, but the “all-sad-all-the-time” stories are boring, too. I was reading a (highly recommended) fantasy trilogy once, and halfway through the first book I realized that the author’s strategy was, at every moment, to make his characters as miserable as possible. In every situation, whatever was the worst thing that could happen to them (other than death), that was always what would happen.

    I never finished it. Once I figured that out, everything became completely predictable and I lost interest. As my father would have said, there wasn’t a laugh in it. That was his ultimate putdown. πŸ™‚

    • I hope no one ever describes my stories like that! I try to inject a lot of humour into my writing (I agree with your father in that regard!), things just aren’t… happy. Or, rather, when things are happy, it feels like I should be writing “The End”.

  6. You also write very funny things. Your synopsis of Fifty Shades Darker in my comments section was one of the funniest things I’ve read.

  7. I am the same as Jody… really jealous. My husband has tried to read my work but usually tells me it is just not his type of reading material. He thinks my writing borders too much on the misery side also. I think happy is highly overrated anyway. πŸ˜‰

  8. Happy Birthday! I love this idea, we did one for a going away party recently. So fun!

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