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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And we came to the end...

Last week I received an email from a reader. She wrote, "I really enjoy writing stories and books but I'm never sure how to finish them." She asked me for advice. But you know what? I didn't really know what to tell her.
I always begin a book knowing how it starts and how it ends. It's the middles that I strugle with. Unfortunately, the middle is the majority of the book!!
I'm not a fan of hugely happy endings. The kind where everyone ends up happy and then they walk into the sunset. Because, well, that's just not real life. Even when one of my stories has a "satisfying" ending, I know there's still trouble down the road. That's just the way it is.
I tried to think of books with endings that disappointed me, but I couldn't think of any off hand. What about you? Any endings that left you wanting more? Do you like your stories wrapped up in a bow?


Jennifer Echols said...

I am a bow writer! I want everything wrapped up and extremely happy at the end. I think this is because I read a lot of Great Literature in my formative years and pretty much all of it has a bittersweet or downright sad ending.

But to each her own. You have to write the book you want to read.

BookChic said...

What's funny about this is that I was just writing about my YA pet peeves and the one I wrote about was endings that leave plot lines open-ended. The one that I mentioned was Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which left a lot of things open-ended. I do want things wrapped up in a bow, or at least some sort of closure, which WGWG did not have. In fact, a thread is introduced on the second-to-last page and not resolved. How can you do that?!

It was such an amazing book but the ending almost ruined it for me.

So I'm with Jennifer- I need bows!! Maybe that's why I like her books so much, lol. And I'll probably a bow writer once I actually finish something.

Dwayne said...

The resolution of a story plays a huge part in my reading experience - personally, I prefer stories with satisfying endings, 'satisfying' being left largely undefined. Some endings may still be satisfying even if they aren't exactly a happily ever AFTER (Hello there, Jennifer!). In fact, some stories I feel must be geared toward unhappy endings in order to be true and satisfactory. Having said that, I remain to be a reader who wishes every story a happy ever after!

Jan Blazanin said...

I come down on the side of happy endings, too. Everything doesn't have to be sunshine and roses, but I need to see change in the MC that gives me hope for the future.

A book I read not long ago that left me dissatisfied was JUMPED. The author's voice was amazing, but none of the characters grew emotionally, and the reader was left with no hope that they ever would. That was very disappointing for me.