Daily Archives: June 23, 2013

Is Happy-Ever-After Storytelling Too Old-Fashioned?

A lot of my blogs begin on other people’s pages.

I just finished reading a blog entry asking – in a roundabout fashion – if “Happy Ever After” had become out-dated.

You can read that blog right here.

Here’s my thoughts on the whole situation.

My wife and I just got through watching the first four seasons of SONS OF ANARCHY. Hard, nasty brutal storytelling – where each character is both noble and ignoble – the absolute antithesis of the “happily-ever-after storytelling”.

We loved it.

A couple of days ago I picked up a DVD set of the first season of HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN. Shmaltzy, cornball happy-ever-after storytelling – and we’re loving just as much.

Sometimes you crave a glass of sweet cool lemonade.

Sometimes nothing but a blast of strong dark whiskey is what you’re looking for.

There is equal room for the “happy-ever-after” and the “life-is-shit-so-suck-it-up-buttercup” style of tale-telling. One needn’t negate the other. One isn’t necessarily more satisfying than the other. The myth of the happy-ever-after fairy tale is exactly that – a myth – and the product of pure imagination.

As writers and storytellers we depend upon our imagination to fuel our efforts. The writer who sneers at the sweetness of a happy-ever-after as being more than fanciful foolishness is forgetting that at the root of it all even the darkest, most brutal, most realistic of reporting is built from pure imagination. We’re not just microphones – reporting brutal fact – we are harps that are meant to be plucked sweetly.

Or – to put it another way – it takes the sweetest of corn to produce the strongest moonshine.

Ask any country boy.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon