"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story."
When do you know that you are really done with your story? Sometimes you have followed your original outline, but you are tempted to continue the story. This often happens when you are in love with your characters. You need to make sure that you have both a climax to your story and a denouncement. These are not the same thing. The climax is the high point of the story, and the denouncement is when all of the characters, and the reader, understand the final outcome of the action. Every story does not need to end on a happy note. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example. While it ends on a sad note, it is apparent that the story has reached its conclusion.