“It is no accident that the majority of folktales . . . have a happy ending. Most of them are very deep-level blueprints of how to aim for the moon. The happy ending does not only give you gratification as you read it, but it also gives you hope that, just maybe, a fortunate outcome could be possible. Your brain likes that. It is built to want a solution.”
From Reflections: On the Magic of Writing, by Diana Wynne Jones, a collection of speeches, essays, and autobiography compiled before she died in 2011. She wrote forty-something books of fantasy, including Howl’s Moving Castle, Fire and Hemlock, the Chrestomanci series (about a magician with nine lives), The Dalemark Quartet, Dark Lord of Derkholm, The Game, etc., etc., and even a Tough Guide to FantasyLand, that asks the question: Why do the people in fantasies always eat stew?