Monday, February 13, 2006

Going Out In Style

If you write fiction, it's often the end of the story you write first. Not always, but once in a while you see an ending before you have a plot in mind. A writer' style dictates the type of endings he/she uses.

I've experimented with story endings. What I see from readers, people who like the type of dramatic fiction I write, is that they like a twist at or near the end, in addition to inherent conflict, and deep and complex characters they can fall in love with or hate. Readers can even appreciate a message. But I also find they want endings to wrap things up. They may love the book, but if the ending sucks, they'll throw the book in the trash. Pissed off, they stew for days and that kind of word of mouth, a writer doesn't need.

Even if there's a sequel, or the possibility of one, a reader wants to see questions answered, and feel a sense of a good ending. Satisfaction. The good guy doesn't have to win, but there has to be a hint that in the next book or story, he/she will win.

It's as hard to explain, as it is to write. I seldom wrestle with story endings. If I don't already know how I want it to end, then my characters figure it out for me as they go. But once in a while, I debate on different endings. That's when I discuss it with my critique group, or my husband, or my friends who read my work.

In the end ... it's usually one of my character’s who tells me how to wrap it up.

I just want to make sure they go out in style. My style. I think it's the best part of any story.

The End.

Blessings to you and yours.

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