It was recently brought to my attention (by my own mother, strangely enough) that certain endings sit well with some people, and sit terribly with others.
My mother, brother and I were sitting at Qdoba, eating our burritos and discussing what movie my brother should watch with his friends that night. He said that one of his friends liked sappy romances, and I said that Fault in Our Stars would be a good choice.
(Hey, I don’t watch romantic movies much and I thought it was pretty good when I saw it, though the book was definitely better.)
I was immediately met with this almost disgusted look on my mother’s face. I asked what was wrong, and she responded, “doesn’t that movie end in a sad way?”
I nodded. “Yeah, it ends on a pretty sad note. Why does that matter?”
She shook her head and said, “I just don’t like movies that end in sad ways. I mean, come on! It’s the ending. It should be happy!”
I stared at her a bit, then burst out laughing. She asked me what I was laughing about, so I told her, “If I ever publish a book, do not read it. You will hate it. There is rarely a time when I end anything I write on a happy note. Every novel I’ve planned ends on a bittersweet note at best. You would hate me as an author.”
She changed the subject immediately.
That little anecdote should be enough to tell you what I’m getting at. Certain people like certain endings. Others like something entirely different. There’s no way to make everyone happy.
So, what ending should you go with?
That… Is entirely up to you.
That’s the honest truth. I can’t tell you what to write or what ending is best. I can tell you that I love those bittersweet endings that leave you with something to think about, but that doesn’t mean that those endings are the best. They’re just one type of ending that some people like.
What’s that? You’re wondering what all the different types of endings are?
Refer to the following image.
That, my friends.
That is how you separate all the different types of endings.
I know, I know. I always have the best answers.
There really isn’t anything else for me to say. How you end your piece of writing is entirely up to you and your style. I can’t tell you what ways are the best and what ways are the worst. It all depends on you.
The best advice I can give you is to end your piece of writing in a way that reflects everything you’ve been building up to that point.
If you still have no idea how to end your piece of writing, think about the following questions:
- What sort of tone have you been creating over the course of your writing?
- What has happened to your character(s) over the course of your writing?
- And most importantly, what ending would most interest you?
Note: I did not say to think about what ending you would most want to read. Everyone wants a happy ending, but a happy ending isn’t always the most interesting. You need to think about what ending would most interest you, what ending would keep you thinking about the book days or even weeks later.
Now, seriously, there isn’t really anything else I can say on this topic. Only you can know what the best way to end your writing is.
Until next time!
P.S. The stanza up there is the last stanza of a common lullaby-type song. If you comment what song it’s from, you get a cookie!
Picture sources: abcnotation