This year is a new beginning for me in a lot of ways, so it makes sense that my first blog post on a writing subject would be about endings. No? Sure it does. ;)
I know I’ve blogged about endings before, but this post was inspired by a book I read recently. I’d been avoiding this book, because the premise didn’t really excite me. But I’d seen it recommended by so many bloggers, when I saw it on the shelf, I finally gave in and picked it up.
It was well-written, and I read it in less than two days, so the author was doing a lot of things right—good tension and pacing, beautiful descriptions, etc.—but I never really felt a connection to the characters. So when I got to the end and EVERYONE got a happy ending, including the bad guy who wasn’t really a bad guy, I was left with a feeling of disappointment, like there was something good there that I missed or maybe it was something the author missed. Either way, when I found out there was a sequel, I had no desire to read it—even after reading the teaser chapter at the end of the book.
I admit, I like my endings infused with a little pain, a little sacrifice on the part of the main character. Endings where everything is perfect, all tied up with pretty ribbons and bows, to me, are unrealistic and frustrating. Not to mention, once the bad guy’s scheme was revealed, I was able to guess the ending exactly. I like to be surprised at least a little at the end.
So what do you think? What makes a good ending? Do you like it when everyone gets a happy ending? Or is that too unrealistic to be enjoyable? And do you like to be able to guess the ending, or do you like to be surprised?