Friday, November 18, 2011
While shopping with friends at Sam’s Club, we milled around the book/DVD section. One of my friends picked up a movie and showed it to another friend in our group since it had one of her favorite actors in it. We had discussed this movie when the trailers were first shown, but none of us had seen it yet. The friend who adores this actor said she refused to watch the movie because she had talked with friends who had seen the movie and were disappointed in the ending—the lead character died in a shocking way. The friend who brought the movie to our attention asked if the movie was any good, despite the ending. The other friend and I spoke at the same time, "Doesn't matter."
Have you ever read the ending of the book to see if you’re going to like how the story is resolved? I admit to being a second-generation ending reader. Sometimes I really try hard, especially while reading suspense, not to skip ahead because I like to guess whom the villain is and see if I’m right.
I want a promise of hope and a happily ever after. Since I'm investing my heart into this story and these characters, I want a heart-satisfying conclusion.
Quite a few years ago, I watched a movie based on a novel written by a popular secular author who writes love stories—notice I did not say romances—yes, there is a difference. I loved the movie’s storyline and adored the characters until I saw the ending. My heart had been ripped out. I sobbed and not in a good way. If I had been reading the book, I would've been flung across the room. I was that angry! I vowed never to read that author's books or view movies based on that author's books again.
Endings affect the way a reader enjoys a novel. Some readers like me want the fairy tale and happily ever after. Other readers want a satisfying conclusion as long as the story is good. Of course, the novel genre influences the ending, too.
Romances need to have a happily ever after where boy and girl fall in love and commit to a future. Women’s fiction novels need to have a satisfying ending for the character’s story arc. Suspense and mystery novels should have a solved crime at the end. The villain isn’t always caught, especially if the novel is part of a series, but most often, all loose ends should be tied up neatly for the reader. Fantasy and sci-fi novels should have a satisfying resolution to fit the story premise. Basically, the reader needs to have an answer for the proposed story question at the beginning of the novel.
“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” ~Orson Welles
Share Your Thoughts: Do you read endings first? What kinds of endings upset you? For you writers, what genre do you write and how do you know when you’ve written a satisfying ending?
I’m holding a scavenger hunt to promote my Lakeside Reunion release. Plus, blog commenters on my blog hop will be put in a drawing for fun prizes—breakfast basket, Love Inspired Authors basket, autographed copies of Lakeside Reunion. Visit my Lakeside Reunion Contest page for more information.
The token for this blog is an emerald necklace.
Book Blurb: Lakeside Reunion: Bed-and-breakfast owner Lindsey Porter prays she won’t run into Stephen Chase when she returns to Shelby Lake. Five years ago, the cop jilted her to marry another woman, and Lindsey fled town. But no sooner does she hit city limits than Stephen pulls her over for a broken taillight. Despite the past, he’s still able to stir up Lindsey’s old feelings for him. Now a widower and single dad, Stephen recognizes a second chance when he sees one. And he’ll do anything to make Lindsey trust in God and take a risk for love—again. Read an excerpt of Lakeside Reunion