8 Comments

Izzy May I: The Write Open Ending

Diverging footprints

Simple question.

Novels with open endings,

Do you love them or hate them?

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Some readers need closure with a clear ending, whereas others prefer an ambigous, life-is-too-messy-to-know kind of ending. * Some find that open endings work with certain genres or writers; others are completely against them. * Some believe open endings are gimmicks to leave readers haunted and mocked by the story; others enjoy unresolved conflict and the opportunity to debate about different alternatives.

I, myself, think the effectiveness of an open ending depends on the genre (ex. a mystery vs. a romance) and what part of the major quest is left open by the author (ex. finding out whodunit vs. knowing if the relationship between the leads works out).

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(1) Take for instance, Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell). Most plotlines are resolved, but we’re left to question what that freakin’ postcard says and whether Eleanor and Park ever get back together. I’m semi-okay with this ending. There’s hope, and that works for me.

(2) Or Stolen: A Letter to My Captor (Lucy Christopher). Gemma has three options about what to say in court (which I like for the most part; still, I wouldn’t mind knowing for sure which one she chose):

  • Ty drugged and kidnapped her. (Truth)
  • Gemma agreed to leave with him and helped plan the kidnapping. (Lie)
  • Somewhere in the middle — Ty drugged and kidnapped her, but he honestly believed he was helping her; in a way, he did save her. (Messy Truth)

(3) Or Living Dead Girl (Elizabeth Scott), which I haven’t read yet. But I know some readers are impressed by the ending, while others are quite upset.

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What are your thoughts about books with open endings?

Any examples?

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8 comments on “Izzy May I: The Write Open Ending

  1. The only time I enjoy an open ending is when I know there will be a sequel to complete the ending later. I need to know if the lovers met or if the bad guy got what was coming to him.

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  2. I don’t like open endings even I don’t like sequels if I don’t have the whole set! Good read

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  3. Open endings mange you figure out where it’s supposed to go. Hanging thoughts help hold interest. Of course, cheap tactic to add a sequel is a bad down side. I’m in favor of them

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  4. I am a fan of writing open endings but I am not a fan of reading open endings. They make me go crazy like “why would you write that?” I guess I like making people insane but I don’t like to crazy or insane myself. 🙂

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  5. Depends on the story, I suppose. Generally I like open ended endings as long as it’s intelligently written and someone didn’t just get lazy at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like open endings if the story is written well…you can have the opportunity to make your own ending to the story. Most of the time my preference would be for a clearly closed ending. “Variety is the spice of life.”

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  7. I like the story to wrap up and end happily. I hate it when I’m left hanging and then I think about the ending over and over again pretending all was well when really it wasn’t.

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  8. […] little story in response to Izzy’s May I: The Write post about open endings. Sometimes it really helps to know the […]

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