Spare Some of the Characters Some of the Time, Let Them Feel Joy

ONE STEP TOWARD ARTISTIC MATURITY seems to be allowing a little levity / happiness into the work of art — not being unremittingly grim all the time, not needing everything to turn out as badly as possible no matter what. It feels like part of accepting the genuine grimness of the adult world, rather than the imaginary grimness of the childhood world, is also allowing a measure of lightness, beauty, frivolity — understanding that these things are linked, and that making room for them in a story doesn’t make me weaker, but actually more nuanced, more able to encompass the full spectrum of real life. Maybe I’ll even write a happy ending once in a while.