What is a good ending to a story?
Are you disappointed sometimes about how the story ends?
Did you think it should have ended differently or did you love the way it ended?I’ve just finished reading Marcelo in the real world by Francisco X Stork. If you enjoy reading stories about characters you love, this is the book for you. Marcelo is an interesting, rare character – someone you wish you knew in real life. The story kept me reading too (and that doesn’t always happen). But once I finished the book, I started thinking about how unremarkable the ending was, which is strange because it was logical and tied things up well.
I’m not sure what I expect from an ending; maybe I’m too fussy. Marcelo in the real world resolved things nicely in the end without being contrived or heavy handed. But it was not amazing. It wasn’t a revelation. Do you think I’m being fussy?
Now I’m interested in finding out which books or films people have found satisfying or unsatisfying. I asked my elder son this morning and he said that Nick and Nora’s infinite playlist had a good ending. He said he thought it may have been influenced in the way movies are written. It worked well because the story was over a night, and in the end the sun was coming up, so it ended naturally and neatly.
What about the really bad endings? Lord of the flies in which the ending was a fizzer, an anticlimax. You know, the endings in which you’re convinced the author didn’t try hard enough to finish well; it could have been much, much better. You could have written it better yourself.
Some endings are deliberately ambiguous, for example, in the movie Children of men. Citizen Kane has a great ending which leaves the reader feeling satisfied with priveleged information that is a mystery to everyone else.