Friday, March 7, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 07-Mar-2014 / Write endings that don't suck

Endings are tricky.  Do you leave the story open, leaving the reader's imagination to wonder what is in store for the character?  Or do you tie everything together in a nice neat bow?

Or, is it a combination of both?

Last week, on Netflix, I watched the season finale of Breaking Bad.  I won't spoil it here, except to say that it ends perfectly, tying up all loose ends.  As we speak, I'm just an episode or two away from finishing Dexter.  I'm dying--no pun intended--to see how it plays out.  Some of the character development in the last season is a bit poor and far-fetched, but overall I like the series and want to know what's going to happen with our friendly neighborhood blood splatter analyst who moonlights as a serial killer.

When it comes to endings, I believe it's important to give the reader enough to satisfy them.  This is where I believe a bit of planning--AKA outlining--may come into play.  As we speak, I have written in my lifetime a total of six novels.  In all of them, I had the ending in mind long before I even got to it.  But, when I wrote closer and closer to the end, it didn't quite turn out the way I had planned.  It was better.

In Shadowkill, I had an ending in mind yet didn't quite know how to get there.  A lot of questions were raised prior to it.  Then, like magic, they all fell into place.

I like explosive endings.  I hate cop-out endings.  This is why I hated Dracula.  The death of Dracula was about 2 lines in the book . . . and that was it.  Poof, big bad vampire is gone.  Don't do that.  Please.  Don't write endings that suck.

How do you tackle endings?  Please comment below and share.

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