Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Wednesday Wonderings - Is Your End Abupt?
I just got done reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. A few words of note however, before I plunge into the discussion. This book isn't my usual type of thing for two very distinct reasons:
1. It's a YA-genre book, which is definitely not my first choice.
2. 1st person writing, which I'm usually do not like.
I did not know that it had sci-fi elements when I picked it up, but it was a nice surprise. Honestly, I didn't know alot about the author or the book, other than I had seen quite a bit of mention here and there about it. On the whole, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Until the very end, that is.
Without spoiling the story for any of you haven't read it, I will merely say the end of the story was very abrupt. It just ended. There are all sorts of questions in my head at this point, wondering what will happen to the various characters. I also noticed the final line which reads "End Of Book One", an obvious clue that this is part of a series. So there is a reason for the book to end this way. But it got me to thinking about endings.
In this particular case, the author had a really good reason. The MC has done some things that have severe implications within her world, and it goes beyond just saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. In an interview in fact, Suzanne Collins even stated that she hadn't intended to write the story as a series but that it became one due to necessity.
The topic of endings is especially important to me at the moment because I am working on ending my current WiP. I am not intending for this book to be part of a series, so I am trying to tie up all the various plot threads into a neat package. The question that bugs me is how to end it properly, without being too abrupt. There will be hanging questions of course, because my story ends with a cataclysmic change in human society. Deciding which questions to answer and which to ignore is one of my difficulties.
This got me to thinking about the idea that no story truly ever ends. If you think about it, there really is no way to end a story. For example, let's say the MC of a story dies at the end. A tale could still be told regarding those left behind, dealing with the loss of this person. What if the MC leaves for greener pastures? There's a story to be told regarding what it's like when they get there or what the place is like now that they are gone. Let's face it - unless you are writing an ending in which everyone lives happily ever after, there are threads of stories hanging off the edge.
I don't yet have any concrete ideas where I will draw the line and finally type The End. How do you deal with endings in your respective stories? How do you decide a particular plot thread is so secondary that it needn't be resolved?