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what is the best way to end a book?

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  #1  
Old 10-04-2015, 09:56 AM
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Icon3 what is the best way to end a book?


I personally say the best way to end a book is on a
smile.

how about you?

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Old 10-04-2015, 01:23 PM
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I do believe this has already been discussed, and not so very long ago. Still, there have been several new members since that discussion.

I like providing enough closure to satisfy the reader while leaving the door open for new adventures. And if it also brings a smile to the reader, that's an added bonus.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:44 PM
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It also depends on whether the story is a stand alone or you want to se the story up for sequels. Either leave the reader feeling the characters lives will continue when the story is over.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by poirot View Post
I do believe this has already been discussed, and not so very long ago. Still, there have been several new members since that discussion.

I like providing enough closure to satisfy the reader while leaving the door open for new adventures. And if it also brings a smile to the reader, that's an added bonus.
there is a difference between ending a story and closing a book
I am after the feeling you get after ending a book
like I said I like to end a book on a smile
others may prefer to end on a tear god knows why

what do you say?
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by K.S. Crooks View Post
It also depends on whether the story is a stand alone or you want to se the story up for sequels. Either leave the reader feeling the characters lives will continue when the story is over.
I am after a feeling
what you have answered here is about characters
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
there is a difference between ending a story and closing a book
I am after the feeling you get after ending a book
like I said I like to end a book on a smile
others may prefer to end on a tear god knows why

what do you say?
I am talking about feelings. Not all feelings can be described in a single word.

I like a feeling of closure, that the job is complete, along with a feeling of anticipation for what will come. And if there is a feeling of hope, that's a bonus.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:55 AM
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The best way to end a book is with the beginning of the next installment. Not a cliffhanger. Just the possibility of more to come. Back to the Future did it splendidly, with Doc Brown in the train telling Marty and Jennifer that he wasn't going back to the future 'cause he'd already been there and proceeds to travel somewhere in time (no pun intended).

Closure is good as long as it doesn't slam the door in the reader/viewer's face.

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Old 10-05-2015, 05:00 AM
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Each story has it's own feeling. To get the reader thinking critically is the primary goal of my works. An entertaining mental exercise complete with lessons learned. I suppose a feeling of satisfaction might be the best description of the emotional state I want to generate among my readers. Satisfaction and curiosity about where the story's going and what it means in their real lives.

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  #9  
Old 10-05-2015, 03:15 PM
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I think there are lots of great books that aren't part of a series with installments.

And I think there are great books that leave you feeling frustrated, like The Heart is Lonely Hunter, by Flannery O'Connor.

(Spoiler Alert to follow.)

You hope that one of the main characters will break out of the cycle of barely getting by in rather hopeless, dreary environment, but she doesn't.

But it is the most realistic, poignant and fitting ending based on the story that led up to it, and that's what makes it a good ending. And to me, it's an accurate reflection of how life is sometimes, and I think those are stories that are worth telling, however disappointing they might be.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:26 PM
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Binx, you failed to answer the original question.
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2015, 03:32 PM
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No, I don't think so.

Based on the example I gave, I said the best ending would be the most realistic, poignant and fitting ending based on the story that leads up to it.

Obviously, there could be any number of ways to end a story that range from wholly satisfying to ambiguous and frustrating.

In other words, it depends entirely on the story, and trying to narrow it down to any one best kind of ending is pretty pointless.

That's my answer.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:55 PM
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Well, Binx, I interpret Nacia's use of the word "best" to mean favorite. Listing possible endings does not tell us your favorite.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:10 PM
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I didn't list possible endings. I mentioned there was a range of possibilities.

And I'm telling you that my favorite ending is an ending that works best for the story. I don't have any one kind of ending in mind. That seems rather limiting to me, both as a reader and an aspiring author.

Last edited by Binx B; 10-05-2015 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
I didn't list possible endings. I mentioned there was a range of possibilities.

And I'm telling you that my favorite ending is an ending that works best for the story. I don't have any one kind of ending in mind. That seems rather limiting to me, both as a reader and an aspiring author.
Of course there is a plethora of possible endings. Of course the ending must be right for the story. Of course writers and readers utilize and read books and stories with various endings. All of that seems obvious. Equally obvious is that the only person who can limit you is yourself, so there's no need to get on a soapbox about limits.

The question, in a lighthearted, chatty way, is what is your favorite ending. If you prefer to try to sound important by stating the obvious, so be it.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:41 PM
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Well, I'd say based on the comments so far, the answers have been rather earnest, and not so lighthearted and chatty, including yours.

I think my response is in line with that and is in no way an attempt to "sound important."

And maybe my answer is obvious, but so far, there has been zero indication that it is to the people who have commented so far, including you, so it sure looks like someone needed to say it.

Instead, there has been this attempt to explain what kind of ending is best based on rather narrow, personal criteria. And I think that's limiting. Otherwise, I'm so glad you could agree with me in retrospect. (Sarcasm.)

Want it to be lighthearted and chatty? Then respond accordingly. So far, you haven't and neither has anyone else.

Last edited by Binx B; 10-05-2015 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:26 PM
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I don't have anything lighthearted either, but an author friend assures me the best ending is one that comes as a complete surprise to the reader, yet, on reflection, is inevitable. I agree and if I ever learn how to do it, I'll let you know.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:59 AM
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I always end my stories by having the main character wake up and realise it was only a dream. Either that or alien abduction.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by poirot View Post
I am talking about feelings. Not all feelings can be described in a single word.

I like a feeling of closure, that the job is complete, along with a feeling of anticipation for what will come. And if there is a feeling of hope, that's a bonus.
so complete anticipation and hope.
that is quite a lot of feelings in one go
i can only manage one at a time
how do you manage all three in one go??
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
No, I don't think so.

Based on the example I gave, I said the best ending would be the most realistic, poignant and fitting ending based on the story that leads up to it.

Obviously, there could be any number of ways to end a story that range from wholly satisfying to ambiguous and frustrating.

In other words, it depends entirely on the story, and trying to narrow it down to any one best kind of ending is pretty pointless.

That's my answer.
you are talking about the story
i am talking about the book
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2015, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveHarrison View Post
I don't have anything lighthearted either, but an author friend assures me the best ending is one that comes as a complete surprise to the reader, yet, on reflection, is inevitable. I agree and if I ever learn how to do it, I'll let you know.
a surprise?
that is quite vague because what is a surprise to one maybe not to another
especially when a reader is unknown to us
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