N is for… (#atozchallenge)

N is for…

Nice Neat Ending

A short post today because I’ve got people coming round for Chinese. 

As a writer I often read advice telling me to write the nice neat happy ending that readers want, but, life isn’t always nice and neat and shouldn’t stories reflect life?
I seem to be attracted to the darker side of human nature and tend to write this way too, does that mean that I won’t have any readers?
Or is it because life is not perfect that we want to read about happily ever after?
Readers is this true, do you always want a nice neat ending?
Is this restricted to particular genres?

Neatness is also about tying up loose ends and resolving the main and sub plots.
What tricks have other writers reading this got to keep track of this?

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Posted on April 16, 2011, in #am writing (and all things writing related), April A-Z Challenge, Kirsty rambles on about life, the universe, tv, and everything! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I tend to like the neat ending but just because that’s what I like, doesn’t mean u should write it that way and that I should always get what I want. Often when a book doesn’t end the way I think it should I’ll still like it but imagine the ending I want. There is however nothing worse than a book ending then chucking a twist at you, like ‘oh so and so knew about it the whole time’ cos that’s just annoying. If a twist is done well tho it can make the book.

  2. If neat and happy endings are what people want then I’m on a hiding to nothing, aren’t I?

  3. If I’m really gripped by either the story, characters, or both, than I really want a nice neat happy ending. I am *still* pissed at J K Rowling for the fate she gave my favourite character in Harry Potter.

    I do think though that stories can often resonate *more* if the ending is lkess conventional. Unfortunately I can’t remember the author’s name now, but I remember hearing that a particular author never ever writes a happy ending, because she feels that then her readers won’t be motivated to change anything.

    I’d say go with your instinct and write whatever ending seems right to you.

    • Ooh which character in HP, is it the same one as me?

      Interesting comment about motivation to change things. If you remember the author come back and tell me.

  4. I like ‘neat’ endings, i.e. all loose ends tied up properly. But ‘happy’ endings can sometimes be a bit trite for me. I read Stephen King remember! I guess it depends a lot on genre. Near the end of The Dark Tower series (don’t worry, I won’t give the plot away!) King interjects in his own story to say that some readers will not like the ending, and feel free to stop reading now and make up your own end. Or, read on, but don’t go complaining to him if you don’t like it. I liked that. I did consider stopping (after all, reading 7 books and thousands of pages gives you a bit of a vested interest in the result, and how can the authors ideas possibly live up to your own?!), but I couldn’t stand the thought of never knowing the ‘real’ ending. In the end, I wasn’t disappointed, but I could see why some people would be. Ultimately, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. It’s *your* story, and whether you choose to write a happy ending or a sad one, if it’s good enough it’ll stay with the reader regardless of what they wanted it to be.

  5. Much like Stacey, I imagine the ending I want if it didn’t turn out that way. But I remember reading a book (although, strangely can’t remember which book) a long time ago which had a very un-nice ending, and I liked it more that way because it was different!

  6. Hi,
    I love a great twist at the end of the story.
    Life isn’t always nice and neat and I like to read stories that reflect that.
    I love an ending that surprises me and much prefer that to predictable.

  7. NIce neat endings: I struggle over those: and go for re-writes…happy to meet you via A-Z!

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