A.K.A. The Longest Blog Post Title Ever
Hey hey hey.
Just watched a movie. I got to the end and was sorta like, “What? Just? Happened?”
The problem was this: The movie was about an hour and a half long, and there was lots of drama, cool shots, nice lighting, funny hairstyles, etcetera, etcetera, et cet er a…
But here was the problem: The whole ending sequence lasted maybe eight minutes. There was a sort of dramatic courtroom-type scene, where people were loudly arguing, then it cut to a kid in a truck, then—everyone was riding down a country road, singing, smiling, with golden sunlight shining down onto their happy faces…oh joy oh joy, all was right in the world again.
Their world, at least.
As for my world? I was sort of confused.
So my tip for you intrepid writers: Please, please, please make sure your ending is appropriately long. And make sure it makes sense.
I remember watching the old version of the Scarlet Pimpernel. At the end, the Scarlet Pimpernel was marched outside, and you heard a gunshot, and the antagonist was probably all “Oh yay, I win.” (Frankly, I don’t remember. Just to give you an idea of how memorable it was.) Then the Scarlet Pimpernel marched back into the room, with a bunch of what we assume are his compadres dressed up like the French officials who supposedly just shot him.
Pimpernel: “Ha ha, antagonist, I was only pretending to get shot!!! You lose.”
You know who else lost? The audience! They spent an hour and a half submerged in this story; don’t you think they deserved a satisfying ending?
You’ve dragged your reader through your story. Well, let me rephrase that. You’ve led your reader through. (We don’t want any dragging, do we? Let’s leave that to people who write encyclopedias and physics textbooks.) They’ve spent, oh I don’t know, maybe a day or two reading it. When they finally make it to the end, make sure there’s a pot of gold for them. Who wants to follow a rainbow and find a red plastic bucket full of coal? 😦
So end it with fireworks. End it with a picnic. End it with a party. End it with the heirs winning the inheritance. End it with a bowl of ice cream. End it with a wedding. End it with a birthday. End it with a new car.
End the story with smiles. But make sure that the reader knows why they’re smiling, and make sure that there’s a good reason behind those pearly whites.
Just thought I’d share that. 🙂