Monday, May 02, 2011

ABC, Z for Ziel (aim, goal, end, last chapter)

This is the end.
Beautiful friend.
This is the end.
My only friend, the end.

Of our elaborate plans, the end.
Of everything that stands, the end.
No safety or surprise, the end.
I'll never look into your eyes...again.
by The Doors

Z- we've reached the last letter of the alphabet. 30 days ago, who had have thought, how fast the end is here. And with this last letter today we want to think a little about the last chapter in a book, the big finale, the end.

In the Book Meme I've been asked: Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
I decided for cliffhangers, but frankly speaking, that's only half of the truth. First, my Top 100 favorite books contains mainly stand-alone books with a tidy ending. Second, I'm a huge fan of book series, like The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. Each book tells the story of one main character and brings it to a proper satisfying happy end, BUT she also continues with different subplots and leaves them open. So, at the end of each book you simply can't wait to get the next book in your hands. That's what I meant with my Book Meme answer 'cliffhangers usually mean, that the story continues'.

Honestly, I'm much better with beginnings than with endings. But I've realized the significance of a good ending, when Jamie DeBree fooled us on 1st April with a very sudden, very unsatisfying end of her weekly blog series 'The Bikers Wench'. So, what can be said about endings?

  • Hollywood Ending: This is the happy ending where the hero will get the girl or win over a villain and bring peace to the planet.
  • Ironic Ending: This is the bittersweet ending when the hero may win with a loss with a sort of Pyrrhic victory or may win in losing. Sometimes, stories in literary and mystery genres use this type of ending.
  • Tragic Ending: The hero loses and the antagonist wins or they both die, but even if the conflict is resolved at the hero's expense, the argument in the story idea is confirmed.
  • Surprise Ending: The surprise lies in a twist or a revelation that changes the understanding of the trajectory or the spirit of the story. If skillfully carried out, this type of ending is the most successful.
  • Vague or Undefined Ending: This is when the story is left open-ended, leaving the reader imagining what could happen. This type of ending is not very effective with most genres, except for horror.

  • Identify the ending of your story.
  • Consider when is the best time for a story to finish.
  • Link the story to a larger theme to end on a high note.
  • Ask yourself "what is the main conflict in my story?"
  • You can surprise the reader but you must also satisfy them.
  • Don’t use sappy extraneous contemplation.
  • Don’t cheat and suddenly have everything work out fine.
  • Some genres have an expected ending that you can’t mess with, e.g. romance.
  • Don’t forget to end the book (or explain it is a trilogy/series!).
  • The resolution comes after the climax.
  • Ask somebody else to read your ending.
  • Revise, revise, revise!

So, this is it: The end of A-Z Blogging Challenge?
Yes, because we've reached the last letter of the alphabet.
No, because there's one more thing to come: A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

Stay tuned! :-)


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