I hate endings.
From Game of Thrones to Supernatural to Twilight to Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, these iconic works of fiction have many things in common but the most prominent - they ended. Or in Supernatural’s case, are in the process of meeting their end. Whether or not you’ve actually seen or read these stories, I’m sure you’ve heard opinions on how they came to a close.
I’m not a popular author (yet?) so at the moment I don’t feel an incredible amount of pressure of how to end the series [I do have a few prequels and side story ideas however]. I can’t imagine the stress for the Game of Thrones writers, however bad they butchered the climax of the series - I’m still mad about it. Don’t ask. Supernatural is still up in the air for me, we’ll see where we’re at on November 19th. Tolkien by far has my most favorite of endings.
Endings are hard. They’re hard to accept, they’re hard to understand but most importantly - they’re hard to write.
Everyone has their own ideas of how a book series or show should end. Its easy for people like me and I’m sure many others to get attached to fictional characters and spaces. If I wasn’t one of these people I don’t think my writing would be worth much, honestly. Emotional involvement is how I create which makes the process of writing an ending that much more difficult. Endings most often read mixed reviews because no matter how happy, sad, or open ended it is, everyone will have their own opinion and perception of what they believe is ‘satisfying’. Not everyone likes happy endings. My best friend who also writes almost always kills of her main characters at the end. To her this is satisfying, but to me it isn’t. If a character goes through all the trials of life, suffers through countless chapters of struggle, I think they deserve to find a soft epilogue. But thats my preference, and I know that not all my readers will feel the same. (Said best friend has been trying to get me to kill of certain characters for years. We still joke about the end of the book and what may or may not happen.)
Endings are hard for me because, personally, I don’t like endings. When something ends and becomes nothing more than a memory, thats a gut punch for me. Especially endings after an epic adventure, and the main character is forced to return to their normal day to day lives struggling to pretend nothing ever happened. (I actually love these, no matter how much they hurt) The end of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings makes me cry every time. Don’t get me started on the Chronicles of Narnia.
The end of a story leaves a lasting impression. A lot of stories are permanently judged by how they ended which in some cases is largely unfair - looking at you Game Of Thrones. Its easy to forget how good the story was when it ends in disaster. To be fair to the Game Of Thrones writers though, they were under an immense amount of pressure and the expectations were very high. They did what they had to in order to bring the shock value for a series end, though personally I felt like it fell completely flat. Regardless of who died at the end, it seemed to me like they purposely exposed the worst core traits of each character to prove a horrible point, that no one really changes and that just came off as incredibly lazy. It wasn’t satisfying in the least except my personal favorite character DID survive to the end so, really I can’t complain too much.
Endings are entirely up to the creator, which is both a wonderful and horrible thing. Even now, as I plot my way through book 2 (send help) I have an idea for the ending that may not align with everyone else’s idea of a satisfying last chapter. But as I am the creator, I have kept my promise which was that I would write this particular story for myself just hoping that others will enjoy it. Its not for anyone else, so to say, but me. That sounds selfish I suppose but as a writer, you learn pretty quick that forced writing for others rarely reads as well as something a writer came up with on their own for themselves because they liked the idea. The Legend of the Starbreather was born and written through a lot of my formative years where I struggled with many things. It was an escape, a little place I created, a pocket universe to call my own. It was never really meant to be a full story, it was really just me processing my emotions and experiences through written words. The fact that I got this far is still surprising. I have at least weekly conversations with my mother regarding the end of the second book - she has many ideas that I may or may not act on (love you mom!) but ultimately the end of the series is something I will have written for me. I hope that it brings as much emotion and satisfaction to others, you readers, who seem to have enjoyed it enough to follow me and read this blog.
In the end, a story is a powerful thing. Endings are profound and impactful. Some endings leave you wanting more, others are satisfying and bring closure, and then there are the absolute train wrecks that people refuse to acknowledge (and the reason a large majority of fanfiction is written). But an ending, much like a first draft, serves one purpose - not to bring closer, not to devastate, but to simply exist. The rest is up to you.