I'm 3000 words into my latest short story - already it's a little longer than I imagined; in fact, there was a time I couldn't write anything longer than 2000, no matter how hard I tried, so I suppose I should be glad by this new-found verboseness. I've got to that nitty-gritty point of the book where I can either steer it into deep and dark territory, or make it a happy ending (and therefore, based on previous experience, much more publishable).
I'm torn. At the moment the characters are taking me to the happy ending, and the longhand first draft I wrote took me in the same direction. But reading that again made me want to veer off course slighty.
Usually, I have the ending in mind before I start writing. In some cases, after the title, which always comes first, I have the last line or two jotted down on the page, just so that I can see where I'm going. I also read novels and short stories in this way. I don't like to be surprised - I even read the last few pages of each of the Harry Potters before I started.
So, as I mull over this eternal question of happy v dark and deep, I shall have a couple of games of Sudoku and hopefully the answer will pop into my head.