Guess I'll join the others in following today's Reflections of a Bookaholic Wednesday's Meme. Please consult Wikipedia for a definition, if you don't already know what a meme is. I don't remember exactly, and a little pressed for time to spell out.
The topic this Wednesday (for this meme) is... 'Types of Endings', where just so happen, I happen to have something to add here.
I enjoy realistic endings. Realistic in a way that fits the story. And I know that's saying way too much of nothing, but hopefully you get my point; unpredictable to the point of being unbelievable, yet realistic all the way around. This is the mix I'm going for when I write my books. I'm always looking for that great start, non-stop pacing throughout the chunk of story, and the grand slam ending. Isn't that what everyone, both readers and writers, want? To be knocked off his or her feet when they come to that ending?
Many, many books struggle in this area. I know because it's happened to me. You're writing, when all of a sudden one or all of the characters start acting a little kooky. Next thing you know you're fighting with the kooky characters, tussling and rolling around on the screen with them, throwing those off screen that you can backspace out of there, and dealing with the others. At some point the fight either gets draining and you just quit, or there it is! You see your ending... or rather you think you see your ending. Whatever you see, one thing is clear. You will not be repeating the madness, except to tweak and polish up.
But this is where the trouble lays, settling for an ending because you’re too tired to repeat the madness. Trust me, I know. I won't even go through my bouts, but will say endings are my big preoccupation, whether reading or writing, it's got to be just right. Twice I've come up with endings that took me for a 'good' loop. Good loop as in I adored them. Others I've settled with. One I did the eeny-meeny-miny-moe thing with. But after rewriting my first novel was where I really learned to appreciate endings. I’m not looking for cliffhangers, or the unbelievable capricious, or the happily-ever-afters, and especially not those endings where it actually reads like I crawled getting to the end. I crave 'sophisticated' endings.
This may be a little bit of a spoiler, so read this list with caution. Here are a few books that I have to give it to the authors for wrapping up with really gorgeous endings.
Miss Muriel and Other Stories by Ann Lane Petry
Hope's Boy: A Memoir by Andrew Bridge
Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice
Crawling: A Father's First Year by Elisha Cooper