So yesterday I was writing about the whole idea of writing a cast where nobody is safe from the proverbial knife. It spawned a lot of interesting discussion with various folks (mostly off blog) but one of the things that repeatedly came up is Joss Whedon. He is totally a master of this style of storytelling. NOBODY is safe in his worlds.
I have in the past accused Whedon of being anti-Happily Ever After (or even Happy For Now). Because he has NEVER, to my knowledge, in ANY of his work, allows for any of the couples to stay together. One of them usually ends up dead (which is way too Nicholas Sparks for my taste, though Joss does it way better) or presumed so (whatEVER the heck happened to Spike). Don’t even get me started with the deflicted ending he gave to Dollhouse in regards to Echo and Paul.
I aspire to write the kind of epic stories that Whedon tells, to eventually learn that kind of snappy dialogue, the pacing, the masterful showing rather than telling–but in a more traditional romance framework. And I got to thinking yesterday–WOULD Whedon’s stories be as epic if he were NOT such a brutal villain to the reader, holding all our beloved characters hostage and knocking them off one by one to make a point? Would a surviving romance/couple in the end in any way diminish what he does as a master storyteller?