Saturday, October 2, 2010

The End

I finally finished Mockingjay. Took me long enough and it was no fault of how good the book was. Purely me being busy. But it got me thinking about endings.

One of the things that pushed me to keep reading Mockingjay was I needed to know the answers.

Does Katniss survive? Who does she end with- Peeta or Gale?

For me:
  • A good book propels the reader to the end
  • An end must be satisfying
  • An end should answer most of the reader's questions
  • An end could reveal a surprise twist
  • An end should complete the a character's emotional journey
How about you? What do you need in a good ending? And while we are chatting about endings, check out J.A. Palermo's blog post over at the Paper Wait on leading readers to turn the page.


Bish Denham said...

Sometimes a good ending is when I don't want the end to happen, I want the story to continue. Lord of the Rings was fine example that pops immediately to mind.

Andrea Mack said...

Sometimes an ending can be good even if all the loose ends aren't neatly tied up. Or even if the character has some emotional resolution but not completely.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I read this somewhere: A good beginning hooks you and a good ending makes you a fan.

Marcia said...

I think the ending needs to feel inevitable but not predictable. You feel like "I wasn't expecting that, but I should have known."

Victoria Dixon said...

Great question.

I agree with just about everything said here, but I'll add: A good ending means the book hasn't ended. The books I love more than anything are the ones I dream about, that I write out (at least in my imagination) possible futures for the characters. The books/endings that I love are the ones that I make sure never end.

Christina Farley said...

These are great ideas guys!

Stacy Nyikos said...

As a reader, I want to feel satisfied, as if this is the only logical way things could end up, which means, the emotional trajectory reaches its logical end. This is what makes sequels difficult, I think, because a continuing story means either a new emotional journey or a continuation of the old. Tricky stuff.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy both loose endings and tied ones. Either way, I like a book that lingers with me, when I can't stop thinking about the characters and what could have happened long after finishing the book.