So, I often feel like I repeat this phrase to myself and those around me. It’s the words from the king in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
I feel like when I’m reading series they tend to end one of two ways. They either end with a slap-bang or peter out so badly that you almost wish it was never written to begin with.
When you are writing you may feel like you can’t keep it to one book, or may be asked to do a series. In all, that’s fine. It’s important to pick up and tie off your lose ends in a way that works.
My hubs plays loads of games. While playing those games a specific phrase has arisen when a game’s story line or trouble spot is solved in an abrupt, easy manner they call it a “Deus Ex Machina” or rather “the god machine”. When you play off your ending too easily people feel gypped. What if Twilight had ended with Edward just changing her? “Oh vampires are after us? Oh, okay. Let’s just turn you too!”…. And roll credits!
Not as much fun.
Also, don’t drag it out forever. I’m sure every avid reader has found that one series we just. Can’t. Stand. The one that just didn’t end in time. See an awesome ending, like The Parasol Protectorate, ties off the story line perfectly and lets the sleeping dog lie. A terrible one…. (just think of that one book for me) drags it out so much that you begin to lose the story’s integrity. Characters, plots, ideas…. they lose all that you’ve worked so hard to build. All that studying, all that fleshing out, all that arc gone.
So, when you decide to tell a story – tell it! Beginning, middle, end. Not beginning, muddle, end. Gail Carriger the other day said that she feels like one of her series is finished and her character would like to be left in peace. At some point we all have to let our characters be and stop. It can be an amazing story and should be! But when it’s done, it’s done.
I hope you all enjoy telling your stories! It’s the last week of NaNoWriMo. Good luck!