Erebus and Co in the other post gave me an idea the this topic.
How do you like an open ending? (a.k.a an ending where you --the reader-- must guess what really happened)
January 11th, 2002, 09:42 PM
Well, at times, I like to play with the readers' minds and leave a twist, or a slightly ambiguous ending. I quite enjoy reading stories of this type and have worked hard at achieving entertaining twist-in-the-tale type conclusions, especially for my Tale Spin collection, which maintains this theme.
I think for short stories these type of endings work fine, as long as you have tied up the main points of the storyline! But even with a twist or open ending, there still has to be some form of direction and conclusion to the tale, IMO, otherwise I fear the reader may give up in disgust! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
January 13th, 2002, 12:53 AM
I think it depends on the story. Some stories are OK with such an open ending, while in others it would be a major letdown.
In general I think that open endings are most appropiate for short stories. And I think it might also be a bit more easily applied to the science fiction genre as opposed to fantasy.
With larger, epic stories I would be a bit disgruntled if the author slabbed an open ending on. For example I would really have hated it if 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' had ended with some kind of ambigous scene where the reader really didn't know what happened in the final confrontation. I figure my feelings runs something akin to this: 'I have invested four thick books worth of reading time in this series and the characters. I've been dragged through miles and miles of dark tunnels and seen death and destruction. Now I wan't to see a triumph too!'
February 14th, 2002, 03:36 PM
I'm bringing up this old post with regards to endings...
What do readers prefer when reading short stories: endings that end with the final action (or climax) or those with denouements?
March 5th, 2002, 06:47 PM
Climaxes are are needed for novels. The action need not necessarily be wrapped up completely if it is a series.
Short stories are good for endings open to interpretation.
March 6th, 2002, 02:01 AM
It really depends on the story and the reader. Open endings are nothing more than a matter of personal preference. Common sense, however, tells us that if a reader buys a full-length novel and reads through the WHOLE thing, they expect some resolution at the end.
I have a short story with a somewhat open ending on this site.
Feel free to ceck it out and tell me if the ending works.