Saturday, May 18, 2013

Unhappy Endings and Pretty Bows

As much as I love true crime shows, there are some I wish I hadn't watched. The ones where the murderer/culprit is unknown, where a body hasn't been found, where the story has no definitive conclusion and no happy (at least somewhat happy) ending.

I love definitive conclusions and happy endings. Wrap up that ending with a nice pretty red bow, and I'm happy camper.

I'm the same with books. I don't like coming up with my own ending to a plot left hanging. I want answers! I want comeuppance for killers, and I want some semblance of life-is-going-to-be-okay for the protagonist. No loose ends. No figuring it out for myself.

Apparently I passed this trait on to my daughter. When she read The Piano Lesson for English class she ranted for days about the ending. Or lack of one. I haven't read the book (or seen the movie) so I can't judge for myself, but she was pretty upset, so I'm guessing that ending had no pretty bows.

As a writer, I'm a bit of a hypocrite. Kind of. I write series, so my endings almost always have an open plotline to feed into the next book. Only a few times have I written cliffhangers, and whoa boy, did I hear about them from readers. So, I'm guessing my daughter and I aren't alone with our love of nice tidy endings.

I think I'll steer clear of The Piano Lesson and write my own endings to those true crime stories (I prefer happy endings) and hope that there aren't any loose ends dangling in my future.

How do you like your endings? Open? Or nice and tidy?