Writers! What a bunch of jerks!

I’ve been watching a lot of kid’s movies lately. Miss 2 has discovered the joys of watching Frozen on repeat. Oh. The. Joys. What I’ve noticed is that every movie I put on for her, someone dies in the first 30 minutes. I get it. Death is a fact of life, people die. So I put on The Lion King – dead Father; Nemo – dead mother and siblings; Big Hero 6 – dead brother; Hotel Transylvania – dead mother. You get the picture: dead, dead, dead. Writers, what a bunch of jerks! Yep, I’m one too.

lion king

The classical fairy tales are even worse! 3 Little Pigs – wolf is trying to eat them and then falls into a pot of boiling water; Little Red Riding Hood – Wolf eats her and Grandma; Hansel and Gretel etc. etc. etc. until infinity. I understand the original stories are much darker than the watered down fairy tales I read to Miss 2, but sometimes I think it’s all a bit much. Don’t get me wrong I have the original Grimm works, but I’ll give it a few more years before I read them to her.

shakesIt made me think about stories in general, across all genres and mediums. Are there really any happy stories? Really think about it. Sure, there are happy endings and happy moments but writers don’t set out to write happy stories (exception is children’s books – some of them). Shakespeare didn’t sit down and think, “Oh, I shall end ye Romeo and Juliet with sunshine and rainbows.” No! He didn’t They both died, although it was at the end of the book.

Yeah, yeah I know it’s supposed to be a tragedy. In fact, there is a whole genre dedicated to tragedies. I’ll tell you what there isn’t a genre for, happiness, and do you know why? Because no one wants to read a book about 2 people who meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. The characters need to be tortured, pushed and torn apart to grow. What’s the point if a character doesn’t grow right? No one would publish it, let alone read it.


Even poor Rapunzel, all she did was be born and she was locked in a tower because her mother wanted to eat lettuce. Then the prince shows up (in the original they have a little special private time) they fall in love, the witch tricks him and he ends up blind.

Admittedly I’m only thinking about literature written in English. If there is a book in another language where everyone is happy all of the time, then please bring it to my attention. In saying that I’m horrible to my characters and it’s a wonder that they talk to me at all. The more brutal I am the better the story because it makes it interesting for the reader. Life is hard, no one lives a life that is all sunshine with dolphins shooting rainbows out of their arse. Life is messy and sometimes downright shitty.

I might go on a little fairy tale rant next week, brace yourselves. Sarcasm is coming.



Hands up, if you’d like to read a book about a Utopian society where everyone wakes up, works and goes to sleep. No angst, no arguments and no pain . I wouldn’t want to read about that. I’d love to live in a world where everyone isn’t assholes to each other. Sure, I’d love that. But I wouldn’t sit down and read about it.

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37 thoughts on “Writers! What a bunch of jerks!

  1. You´re SOOOOO right. Proof of this is a recent conversation with my Mom:
    My Mom: “What about your main character family?”
    Me: “Well, the biological father is dead, the biological mother is exiled, the adoptive father is kidnapped, the adoptive mother is dead, the adoptive grand-father is dead too and I´m actually wondering if killing the sister…”
    My Mom: “But… why do you kill so much people????”
    Me: “It´s obvious, they´re boring characters and I need to traumatize the main character.”
    Conclusion: I´m a writer and a jerk hahhahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jodi Picoult is my fav author and things don’t usually work out well for her characters. Getting up, going to work and doing laundry. Nobody needs to read that. We are living it. Bring on the drama. (but I do love a happy ending!) I had my niece over when she was little and we were watching Bambi. She told me to stop covering my eyes during the sad scene since it was just a movie!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. I guess that’s why they call it drama 😉 I like the combination of of love and death and suffering like in the movie Braveheart. It gets to your inner core and makes one feel alive. Just have a box of tissues nearby 😩

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Conflict, loss, pain. I know you understand these things as great story elements, but I have another thought about death in children’s tales. A child’s biggest fear is being abandoned. Dying is the ultimate abandonment. Orphans are on their own when they face the challenges that befall them — evil aunts, wicked wizards, the Dark Side — and we care even more.


  7. Years ago I used to think writers tended to patronise kids; sure they have death but that is a fact and the sooner they are acquainted in relatively colourful fantasia like surrounds as cushions, but also still be able to absorb the morals and social implications and not be treat like total imbeciles (which often they are) the better, or be disillusioned so early then face the harsher realities later still and be crushed, slight exaggeration. At the same time you are right – we need ingredients in order to make a stew and then be able to stir that pot. Utopias don’t keep us interested or work in real life, so we find more realistic exciting mediums and because of who we are or what we are they never will work…we don’t, as you mention, crave that. What we crave with most things is a less insane and decent life/narrative to indulge in for a change.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think to an extent they are still patronised. I know I read things to my daughter and roll my eyes, wondering who that that was a good idea! Reading should be all about indulging and pure escapism, whatever your poison. Sometimes I want to wallow in someone else’s dispair.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You cannot feel an emotional connection to the protagonist if they don’t suffer! Empathy generates a perceived relationship. I am not sure if you ever read ‘Paradise Lost’ by Milton, but basically it is the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. The Serpent seduces Eve, her character is written with depth and texture and you feel her humanity. The Serpent has the same intensity. BUT, Adam is bland, almost 2 dimensional, which from my perspective, allows us to almost excuse Eve’s behaviour. But the point i am trying to make is that if you have a character that is perfectly content with their lot, how boring would the book be, and where would the shared experience exist to give us the means to connect with them?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I like that proper fairytales were slightly gruesome and…grimm. I think kids fully understand consequences and morals, whereas modern polished ones go for full on fantasy.
    But as for story…death has to occur even if only metaphorical. It can be a bit predictable however and youve exposed the formulaic nature of Disney. It seems a cheap trick to have a major character lose someone close but like you said whats the alternative?

    Liked by 2 people

    • So do I maybe I’m having a Mum of the year moment and should probably skip then all together lol.Yep, full on fantasy and it sets an unrealistic expectation. Death, urge, I know, I know. It’s a love hate situation all around I think. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re so right Lisa, fairy tales and life in general can be shitty and people can relate to that. So who wants to read a story where everything is rosy. There’s no excitement in that.

    Liked by 2 people

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