Monday, February 4

Obsession Confession: Endings


I place a lot of weight on the ending of a book. It can be the most spectacular book ever written but if the ending doesn't work for me the book doesn't work for me. I guess it is similar to a grading system. All that homework and pop quizzes don't count for as much of the full grade as the final test. Plus if I am likely to remember anything about the book it is how it ended. My very last impression. So yeah, endings matter to me.

Since endings are such a big deal to me I have found myself pondering a few questions regarding them. But I am wondering what other people think about endings. Am I the only one that puts so much value on how it ends whether it is book one or the finale?

Ever get to the end and it just doesn't feel right? Like the author didn't know what to do or how to close it all up? 

How about when an ending leaves gaps? 

What do you think of a cliffhanger as an ending? 

Do you like epilogues?

My answer to these questions depends vastly on the book. Sometimes I am less bothered by these types of endings. Not really sure if I should share examples of books that fit each of my questions. But I am not really sure how else to best depict my answers. I will try my best.

Far too often I find this happening. Almost like the author spent so much energy putting forth an amazing story experience that by the end his/her bag of tricks and ideas is depleted. So they just throw something together the ties everything up really quick. Or maybe it just felt really quick since they spent three hundred plus pages building up to this ending that takes five pages to finish. Sometimes even less that five pages. I have read a few recently that sum it all up in a page. It just isn't satisfying. Or maybe it just doesn't feel believable. Nothing is ever that tidy or that convenient.

I dislike gaps. Maybe because it makes me feel like I had a moment where I must have blacked out. Did I miss something. How did they get there?
Why!?! I am a bit of a control freak and so I am not fond of being confused and lost.

Cliffhangers don't bother me too much if I don't have to wait FOREVER to find out what happens next. After all I do need something to look forward to or I might just forget to read the next book. It does seem lately I have read a rather large portion of debuts. It is great fun to read them right out of the gate along with all the hype but then I feel quite a bit of strain having to wait so very long. I think there are more than one trilogy or series I have accidentally forgotten to follow up on. There are just too many and it is so easy to forget with such a feast of books before me. I am thinking I should pace myself when it comes to debuts. It is really just too much of a wait for me. Luckily while it seemed I wanted to read just about every debut last year this year so far it seems their are only a couple catching my eye. I think I more interested in finishing up stories. But since I read so many debuts last year this year will be litter with the dreaded second book. But that is a subject for another time. Cliffhangers as the ending to the entire story is just not right. I don't mind if several things are left untied so long as they aren't terribly important. It gives the story and characters a sense that they are still living on even though we won't be reading about them.

Epilogues. I am not sure I have crossed paths with a perfect epilogue. In fact I am not sure I have crossed paths with an epilogue I have especially loved. Sometimes they offer some closure. But I have found lately that the ones I have read have just offered unimportant stuff. Instead of ending in a shining moment of brilliance the author tries to close everything with a perfect bow. But instead it just messes with the mojo of the book and gets boring. Sometimes even worse it messes with our perception of the characters. We fell in love with them in this snap shot of a moment story. We don't really want to know what is happening when they are all old. Just not pretty. Sometimes an author attempts to add some sort of moral fiber in an epilogue. The whole books was a fun flight of adventure and then they try to make the characters all wise and mighty. It just doesn't fit.

For me I like the ending to fit. To flow seamlessly. I guess I expect perfection. I want to sigh in happy satisfaction at the end. Sheesh, no wonder I am not a writer. I am sure it is no easy task especially considering so many are struggling to pull it off. 

Anyway, I am more interested in what you think this time. So share what you think even it is relates to a specific book.