Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 39

Thread: The Importance of Endings

  1. #16
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Within the winds
    Posts
    8,858
    Blog Entries
    957
    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandi View Post
    I've been disappointed with almost every ending of Stephen King's novels, The Stand especially.

    It definitely seems like the longer a work, the more potential for a let down at the end.
    For me the most disappointing was the ending of IT. It felt like a big let down, to have this evil clown figure tormenting these kids, and all these strange and chilling things happen, but than at the end it is just some sort of giant spider that lives in the sewer. Really? I read that entire book for that?

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    231
    Maybe im a sucker for a happy ending,but all of dostoevskys main novels (incuding the house of the dead.) have weird endings,seemingly abrupt. Maybe dostoevsky wanted them that way to show it wasnt the final conclusive word,or to highlight some specific point?
    The couple of exceptions i felt as good endings were bobok and especially a nasty tale.
    The gambler and notes from the underground seemed reasonable endings as well.
    But,Dostoevsky is such a great writer that he can be forgiven. Lesser writers would have their books thrown in the bin for such strange endings....

  3. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,093
    Quote Originally Posted by mortalterror View Post
    Those long essays and lectures at the end of War and Peace ruined the book for me. I felt cheated, as though the whole point of his novel and it's gigantic length was that he couldn't summarize or condense his ideas, he had to show you in detail. Then he's like, "Oh, this is what the book is about." and I'm like, "You're telling me this 1400 pages in? You bastard!" Every page I'd worked through and struggled to understand it's meaning felt meaningless and a profound waste of time. "Why didn't you say that, and then write a 200 page novel? Jackass!"
    I liked the essays. After reading such a long novel, I felt like reading some related essays. I enjoyed the antics of the Rostov's et.al., and didn't feel that the need to distil one big idea out of their goings on, but I admired Tolstoy for doing such a distillation. After reading Tolstoy's essays i then lost the will, and didn't feel the need, to seek out more 'essays on the novel'. (After all that dry-ish philosophy I needed another novel!) In writing these essays, Tolstoy actually became his own main critic, analyser and commentator.

  4. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2
    There are two books that I like a lot. They aren't exactly classics, both are relatively new (one in the last two years and the other the the last 5 or so - my point, I won't reveal the endings. Just that I was disappointed in how both ended.

    The first, is my favorite of the two. "The Canal," by Lee Rouke. Honestly, close to a perfect story for me. Wish it did not lead to the painfully obvious conclusion that it did. Don't mind how it ended, so much. Just that it was a straight highway with a big neon sign and arrow.

    The second was a fun read, but not as good. "Travels in the Scriptorum," by Paul Auster. This is just one of those that seems that it could have one more chapter. When it ended, I literally re-read the back cover to see if there was something I was missing.

  5. #20
    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Under the trees deep in a cave
    Posts
    3,353
    Blog Entries
    25
    ^The one more chapter situation!

    Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange had a movie version published which dropped the last chapter (though it included a glossary of the language)

    But I found a copy of the original, and although it was sloppy, it tied up the loose ends

  6. #21
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilde woman View Post
    I was disappointed by the ending of Crime and Punishment. I thought the novel as a whole would've been more effective (and affective) as a full-on tragedy. I've only read it once, and that was in high school, but I remember being very invested in the book, very curious about what would happen to Raskolnikov, and then being cheated out of a good ending. I don't have a problem with the fact that he was redeemed (though I find the Christian rebirth symbolism cliched), but that the manner in which it was done was so rushed. It felt jarringly unrealistic, while the rest of the novel had been quite the opposite, with its acutely drawn characterizations and psychological insights. It felt like a cop-out.

    And since we're on the topic of endings, how about potentially great unfinished works? I'm so curious about what Chaucer would've done to complete his Canterbury Tales or House of Fame.
    Yes - for a novel that built up a sense of inevitability and claustrophobia - Raskalnikov's redemption - through rescuing someone from a fire and the religious redemption come as a rushed disappointment.

  7. #22
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Bean View Post
    I generally take the ending as I find it without letting it spoil the rest of the book. As someone who has written three novels, I have had the endings worked out before I started writing. In the case of Maugham's OHB, I must agree that it read as though he hadn't thought out the ending in advance. Nevertheless, I would say that it is the book that influenced me more than any other.
    Do you think it depends upon the authors' method? I've read that there is a great variety of approaches, and perhaps the authors who write poor endings are more likely to be those who rely on inspiration rather than planning.

  8. #23
    biting writer
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    when it is not pc, philly
    Posts
    2,184
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    Do you think it depends upon the authors' method? I've read that there is a great variety of approaches, and perhaps the authors who write poor endings are more likely to be those who rely on inspiration rather than planning.
    Planning only takes us so far Paul; my story about a woman with MS who murders her caretaker starts at the end, as I am not doing a procedural. Hardest challenge is making her hatred and murder plausible, and it is the most difficult piece in my queue. I pity pot boiler authors and their commercial pressure; the need for sales makes for a lot of lame writing.

  9. #24
    Registered User Three Sparrows's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hique et ubique?
    Posts
    171
    I found the ending of Rob Roy to be disappointing; it felt like there should have been a bit more detail at the end. Scott did make up for it by saying there was not room for yet another story on top of what he already wrote, but still. It felt too abrupt.
    However, I very much liked the ending of The Gambler, it just felt so perfect for the type of story Dostoevsky was writing, and surprisingly, was even quite fulfilling. I must have pondered over that ending for days.

  10. #25
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    6,499
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    Do you think it depends upon the authors' method? I've read that there is a great variety of approaches, and perhaps the authors who write poor endings are more likely to be those who rely on inspiration rather than planning.
    Yes you are right about the different methodology used by writers. Some make copious notes while others seem to write from the top of their head. I was listening to a programme about John le Carre leaving a lot of work related papers and MSS that he has given to the Bodley Head Archives. The MS for Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy, showed a mass of alterations where he had extensively revised the original story. Nowadays, it's much easier to do this using a computer but the MS still has to be proof read: which is a skill in itself, as I have found out to my cost. In my own case, I get an idea for a story but it has to have as strong central theme; otherwise it's just pulp fiction.
    For example, my novel A Tangled Web came to me from being a member of this forum which gave me the idea of writing a story with a literary theme. As with the other's I had written, I made a rough draft of the outline, including the ending, and proceeded from there. The nearest analogy I can think of to writing a full length novel is that of a sculptor starting with a block of stone and gradually shaping it to a rough form before chipping away and refining it until, after a great deal of effort, he gets the desired result or, at least, something like it.
    Last edited by Emil Miller; 02-27-2011 at 02:19 PM.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  11. #26
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    Yes you are right about the different methodology used by writers. Some make copious notes while others seem to write from the top of their head. I was listening to a programme about John le Carre leaving a lot of work related papers and MSS that he has given to the Bodley Head Archives. The MS for Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy, showed a mass of alterations where he had extensively revised the original story. Nowadays, it's much easier to do this using a computer but the MS still has to be proof read: which is a skill in itself, as I have found out to my cost. In my own case, I get an idea for a story but it has to have as strong central theme; otherwise it's just pulp fiction.
    For example, my novel A Tangled Web came to me from being a member of this forum which gave me the idea of writing a story with a literary theme. As with the other's I had written, I made a rough draft of the outline, including the ending, and proceeded from there. The nearest analogy I can think of to writing a full length novel is that of a sculptor starting with a block of stone and gradually shaping it to a rough form before chipping away and refining it until, after a great deal of effort, he gets the desired result or, at least, something like it.
    Your sculpture analogy suggests working on different parts at different times rather than a begin at the beginning and end at the end approach. I think that's how I would tackle such an undertaking. Would you use mindmapping in such an approach for the various themes, characterisation and plotlines?

  12. #27
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    6,499
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    Your sculpture analogy suggests working on different parts at different times rather than a begin at the beginning and end at the end approach. I think that's how I would tackle such an undertaking. Would you use mindmapping in such an approach for the various themes, characterisation and plotlines?
    Not exactly, although the central theme is developed along various lines which interlink with each other to produce the finished work. In my first book this was much more marked, to the extent that the first two words were also the last two. The subsequent books were not so reliant on interconnectedness although, like the first, they did have a surprise ending.
    In the most recent book, the protagonist is a somewhat pompous character who in the second chapter, intentionally sends up a radio programme in which he is being interviewed. The amusing potential of the man led me to abandon the original tragic nature of the story and turn the novel into a tragicomedy with comical asides on British and American mores, although the final sentence unexpectedly brings the story sharply back to tragedy.
    So, in answer to your question, I would say yes, with the proviso that it is possible to change tack from the original conception and still arrive back with the original intention.
    Last edited by Emil Miller; 03-01-2011 at 12:10 PM.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  13. #28
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    Not exactly, although the central theme is developed along various lines which interlink with each other to produce the finished work. In my first book this was much more marked, to the extent that the first two words were also the last two. The subsequent books were not so reliant on interconnectedness although, like the first, they did have a surprise ending.
    In the most recent book, the protagonist is a somewhat pompous character who in the second chapter, intentionally sends up a radio programme in which he is being interviewed. The amusing potential of the man led me to abandon the original tragic nature of the story and turn the novel into a tragicomedy with comical asides on British and American mores, although the final sentence unexpectedly brings the story sharply back to tragedy.
    So, in answer to your question, I would say yes, with the proviso that it is possible to change tack from the original conception and still arrive back with the original intention.
    Thanks that's very interesting. I suppose you need to keep your options open in case you spot an improvement in the original conception as you have indicated.

  14. #29
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    6,499
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    Thanks that's very interesting. I suppose you need to keep your options open in case you spot an improvement in the original conception as you have indicated.
    Yes, but the downside is that the continuity of the story is broken. The correct way to do it it is to set out in the first instance to mingle the comedic aspect with the tragic in a way that allows for them to be incorporated in the story as two parts of a single whole, i.e as a black comedy. In my case, it was only after I had started writing that I realised the potential for comedy that existed in the story and I couldn't resist it. However, since I wasn't trying to emulate Tolstoy but just write an entertaining novel, it wasn't that important.
    Last edited by Emil Miller; 03-02-2011 at 07:35 AM.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  15. #30
    Registered User marcolfo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    25°47’30.7’’ N 109°0’40.0’ O
    Posts
    83
    the best ending i´ve ever read was a short story by horacio quiroga called "el hijo" (the son) i got goosebump all over, and my jaw droped super low. i dont know if there's an english translation.
    I'm always home, I'm uncool.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Difficulties in Reading the Importance of Being Earnest (4-act version)
    By zla336688 in forum The Importance of Being Earnest
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-28-2012, 05:24 AM
  2. Happy Endings
    By piquant in forum General Literature
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-02-2010, 06:16 PM
  3. The importance of marriage
    By VeganKirsty in forum Pride and Prejudice
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-23-2009, 03:53 AM
  4. Importance Being of Greater Significance: Useless Things
    By Legend of Kev in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-29-2008, 02:20 PM
  5. The endings
    By Mr. Fennimore in forum Great Expectations
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •