About Me

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J is an unpublished author, represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. J's first novel is a YA fantasy horror, regarding a siren who must choose between the haunting life and humanity. J draws on occasion, reads quite often, and is a founding member of the critique group 'Thoughtical Verbosity.'

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Hey internet!

Very brief updates about Ze J Larkin:

I will be moving into my own studio apartment. WOO! Possibly soon. Probably I will be sleeping on my mom's couch for a little while if it takes the apartment complex's people a while to process my paperwork.

I am rewriting the entire climax of Ze Book. After I added a new arc, which put me 10 days behind schedule, I got to the climax and realized it made. Zero. Sense. But after much rage-at-self for being enemy-of-self, I have figured all that out and just need to really crush myself against the grind stone and make it happen. Ze Book is much better for it. Trust me.

Ze Book will be in the hands of official Beta readers in November. Woo! Excited! Concerned! Excited! Woo!

And Now Onto Le Blog!!

Let's talk endings.

As I said above, I'm currently reworking the climax of Ze Book. The final chapter remains more or less the same, but the big BAM! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED! moment is completely different. And I have spent a lot of time thinking lately about novel endings.

I've heard it said (okay, read it written) that it is the ending, more than any other part, that a reader will walk away thinking about. It is the ending of a book that determines what a reader will say to their friends about the book. The characters can be awesome, the prose can be ridoncidonculous, but the ending is the thing that weighs on their mind.

This makes sense, of course. If the punchline of a joke is lame, are you going to walk away praising how well it was told? If the climax of a film is the weakest of weak sauces, are you going to walk away talking about how sweet the filmography was?

Maybe. If you're one of those people.

But then, what makes a good ending?

Personally, I like to see the characters struggle. I don't want to read "AHA! And then we won." I want to get concerned. I want to not be able to stop turning pages, even if I'm pretty sure I know how things are going to go down.

I also like to be surprised. As many novels as I've read, it's not often that that happens any more. I've become tragically genre-savvy. Even the books I've loved lately, I knew pretty much exactly what each person was going to do and what role they were going to play before their introductory paragraph was over. But--and oh boy, here is where I get choosy--the surprise can't be the kind of thing you'd only know if you were, say, the author. So I want an 'Aha!' moment, but not a 'Duh!' moment, but not a 'Yeah, whatever' moment.

Picky picky.

What else? I like bookend endings. Themes that tie the ending back to something that happened way at the beginning. It makes me giggle. I don't know.

I like endings that are concise. Boom! BAM! Whammo! Brief conversation. The End.

I saw a movie recently that had the climax about thirty minutes before the ending. It also had thirty minutes of introduction before the movie started. I was screaming at the screen (the theater housed only my sister and I) "END!! EEEEEEEENNNNNND!!!"

On the other hand, a story shouldn't just...end. Boom! BAM! WHAtheend.


Also? I like bittersweet endings. Heavy on the sweet. But it's hard for me to buy a story where EVERYthing is wrapped up neat and pretty with zero loss or quarter given. Life is compromise. A good story is a peek into someone else's life.

One of the best endings I've ever seen?

Granted, this clip skips a great deal of the other issues that are closed up beautifully (until the second movie rips everything all up to shreds for no reason other than to create some pointless drama AAAARGGH WHY DISNEY WHY) but this film, which happens to be on my top five list of all-time favorites, hits all of the points I listed above.

So what about you guys? What do you like in endings? What do you hate? What's an example of one of your favorite endings evar?

Peace out!


1 comment:

  1. I'm a fan of the bitter sweet, leaning on the bitter side. But I'm afraid I'm one of "those people" who enjoys the journey of the story. While an ending is def. memorable, its being shown the growth of the character that makes the story for me.

    Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book is one of my favorite stories. I only care about the ending if I care about the character, and I only care about them if I've spent time experiencing conflict with them.

    As for endings, I loved the endings of "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", "Super 8", "The Once and Future King", and "Treasure Island"