As you will notice when you read this story, “Happy Endings” isn’t a typical story. It doesn’t develop characters in the same way as the other stories we’ve read so far. The style of writing in Atwood’s story is experimental, but more specifically, it’s called meta-fiction, which means that it’s writing about writing. Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings” is more an examination of plot than a model for one. We studied character before plot because, in this class, we are striving to create character-driven plots. Since this is a writing class and not a literature class, we’re primarily concerned with what we can learn from these stories for our own writing.
Questions to consider:
1)Take a close look at the line about how and why as opposed to the “what, what, what” of a story. Is she offering advice for writers there?
2)Which do you think is more important to a story: character or plot?