The first Vision Writers meeting for 2015 held lots of lessons and ideas for many of us but I found one point made by Talitha Kalago particularly interesting.
A lot of reading is done for wish fulfillment: we yearn to be swept off our feet so we read a romance novel, we desire to see what life thrives on distant planets so we pick up science fiction. A lot of writing is wish fulfillment too.
But it can go deeper too. There are studies and a book called ‘Million Dollar Outlines’ by David Farland on how experiencing stressful emotion in our own lives, then receiving a release from reading can help us with the stresses of our own, real lives. Yes, reading can help us feel as if we solved some of our real world problems.
However if you’re writing a wish-fulfillment story(which isn’t a bad thing if you do it well), you can’t make the journey too easy. The writer must show those stresses, the very darkest depths, before providing the reader (and perhaps themselves) with the release or the payoff isn’t complete.
So yes, feel free to write that story that has the perfect ending you dream of in your own life, but don’t hold back from having to writhe on your stomach through tracts of sewerage (emotionally and literally) to get there, or your reader might not feel the same depth of satisfaction that the words ‘The End’ should provide.