Happy Tuesday, RG2E Peeps!
“The End”…as our fabulous RG2E Featured Author Jill Hughey says: “Every story has one.”
Take it away, Jill…
Endings. Every story has one. As readers, we both dread and anticipate THE END of that rarest of gems, a book that has grabbed us by the eyeballs, refusing to let go until we reach the last…fabulous…page. We close the book with a sigh and a smile. We have achieved the satisfying ending.
Unfortunately, not all stories bring us all the way. Sometimes there are threads left, frayed and dangling, with no promise of a sequel to pick them up again. We are confused, with the cry of “Wait!” on our lips instead of “Yes!”
Endings can also be ambiguous, the reader abandoned to decide how it all goes down, like those dinner theaters where you vote to choose the murderer. Except there is no big choral finale before the curtain closes. The author thinks we should wrap this one up on our own, and we do, first because we are creative like that, and second because we don’t have much choice.
I don’t mind frayed or ambiguous endings as much as abrupt ones. An example of a fabulous story with a too-abrupt ending is the movie August Rush, a tale of love at first sight immediately stamped out by the girl’s wicked father, followed by a dozen years of separation and yearning, concluding with a hint of a reunion. What could be wrong with that, you might ask? They do get together at the end.
Go back to the DOZEN YEARS OF SEPARATION. Twelve years of longing ends with the man and woman taking one another’s hand while they see their son for the first time. Fade to a long shot of Central Park.
Wait! I just watched a mother who thought her baby died at birth and a father who didn’t know he was a father pine for each other for over a decade. Add in the wrongly orphaned boy who has been a ward of the state his whole life. The payoff is a clasp of hands and the three of them smiling with teary eyes?
Dear Mr. Screenwriter, Would it have been too much to ask to get a twenty-second glimpse into their future? You can even roll the credits over it. Here is the scene. They are in a sunny apartment kitchen with Mom packing a lunch while Dad and Boy doodle around on their guitars until Mom lovingly reminds them that school starts in twenty minutes. Mom and Dad share a stunningly happy smile while Boy wolfs down his homemade pancakes. You can fade out to emperor penguins for all I care now that I have seen the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Like I said, I don’t appreciate abrupt endings. That is why I don’t write them. As a romance writer I always aim for a happy ending, but there is no law saying I have to end the book at the earliest glimmer of joy. I don’t want stories to conclude with the initial kiss or the first “I love you.” I long to see the couple adjust and struggle a little bit before I am forced to let them go.
I wrote a series of historical romances set in the 830s in Europe, specifically Charlemagne’s Empire. In each of the three books in the Evolution Series, my heroes and heroines have an issue to resolve together even after they fall in love.
My characters in Unbidden, the first book, finally declare their undying love about 80% through the story. David, the hero, still has a lesson to learn about misplaced family loyalty before we know for sure that the two of them will be okay. (Unbidden is free at Amazon April 9, 10, and 11 so go grab a copy! http://www.amzn.com/B0067DDX1M)
Redeemed features the villain from the first book. Love and trust do not come easily to my tortured hero, but when they do, he fiercely protects his wife from betrayal within their own home.
In Vain, my most recent release, the heroine is the one who holds back the longest while she struggles to believe that her proud, sometimes cruel husband, has finally fallen in love with her. (One reviewer said, “Theo can be a genuine bastard at times.” I absolutely loved that assessment!)
Each of my books lets readers see that the happy couple is really together, pulling in the same direction, working as a team, because that is the kind of ending I like.
So, how about some chatter? Tell me your ideal “Yes!” ending or bluster about the type that makes you scream “Wait!” I will give one ebook copy of Vain to one commenter chosen by RG2E. Don’t forget that Unbidden is free April 9, 10, and 11.
Despite her ranting, Jill still watches August Rush at least twice a year because 99% of the story is so darn good. Jill can be found at her blog, on Facebook, and she tweets @jillhughey.
Vain: Book Three in the Evolution Series: A tailor’s abandoned daughter fashions a vain nobleman’s tunic, finding passion between the neckline and hem as misfortune forces her into his precarious aristocratic world. Vain is available at the following vendors.
Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo Smashwords Createspace
Superfab fun scoop, Jill!
When it comes to endings, I luv a satisfying ending to the current story problem with a wee bit on a new problem, which means “oh yeah…there will be a sequel!”
Thanks bunches for sharing your thoughts as well as treating us all to a FREE book and a chance to win VAIN! U rock!!!
The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder