Thursday, January 31, 2008

January AW Blog Chain

I'm part of another Absolute Write blog chain and this time the theme is writing. Susan over at The Speakeasy talked about the fact that the ending of a book does not necessarily determine the "goodness" of the story. The story is ultimately good or bad, and it's for the reader to decide.

The old saying "Life is a journey, not a destination." comes to mind. I don't read the first chapter and the last and decide whether I enjoyed a book or not. I read to find out what happens along the way. If the writer has done his/her job, I come away with new understanding, hopefully having learned something.

Writing is ultimately about sharing information. Whether it's fiction to represent a concept, or non-fiction just-the-facts, ma'am, writing is about giving thought organized form. If the words come together just right, the book is good.

And with that, I'm tossing this over to Rebecca at the Writer's Round-About.

Feel free to see what the rest of the bloggers have to say on this topic...

living my life all over again
Spontaneous Derivation
Jenn Hollowell: Working Writer
Anything That Pays
Polenth's Quill
wfg thinks out loud
Spittin' (out words) Like a Llama
A Thoughtful Life
The Speakeasy
Virtual Wordsmith
The Writer's Round-About
My Copious Notes Blog
Tennessee Text Wrestling
Twisted Fantasy


Unknown said...

A very clear and to the point take on this topic! :)

Beth is wfg said...

"writing is about giving thought organized form"

that phrase is sticking with me. I'm sure I'll be pondering it in the back of my mind all day. :) Thanks, Lynn!

colbymarshall said...

You're is a journey, but when I'm writing I do feel like there's a destination. If I didn't have a destination, I'd ramble on forever. But I know what you're saying; it's not all about the ending, and I agree.

Anonymous said...

Good post, it isn't all about the ending. With me, the ending influences how I feel about the book after I've closed it -- Am I satisfied with the story? Do I continue to ponder the fates of the characters (a good thing, when the characters keep living in your head after you've read their story)? Or do I feel frustrated, like something is missing? But I need not think the whole book misses the mark, even if I disagree with the ending.

Anonymous said...

A bad ending kills the whole book for me.

Arachne Jericho said...

Endings and beginnings are just as important as the journey from start to finish.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

While it's true that the journey is the point, if it leads to a destination that makes no sense, it can kill the resonance of the story and leave the reader feeling like the journey wasn't worth their while.

I rarely come across such books, but when I do, I make a mental note not to read that author again. With so much else on the shelves out there, I prefer to not invest my time and emotions in stories that lead to dumb destinations.

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Stories never actually end at the ending anyway. Even the ending is a part of the journey. There needs to be a story conclusion but generally the story continues after the final page.

I always wonder what happens to the couple after the happy ever after in a romance book. Do they marry? Have a hoard of kids? Does he leave her for a younger woman when she's forty? Does she die a horrific death the next year? The end is never really the end at all.

CoganBooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"The end is never really the end at all."

Yes, that's one of the reasons that series books and sequels are so much fun. If the characters, setting and plot are wonderful, then it's always a delight to go back and see what other interesting things those folks did.

Anonymous said...

I liked the way you expressed your ideas so clearly.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the saying. I hate seeing people race through books to just get to the end. Organization is key and I think that holds especially true for non-fiction.

Polenth said...

That journey bit in the middle is the thing I find tricky when writing novel-length things. Beginnings and ends tend to be there, but they don't mean anything if you can't get the rest right.

Anonymous said...

You know, I kinda agree with what Rebecca said - the ending isn't entirely the ending, but rather, just a conclusion. But then, this, of course, is what makes it easier to write serials and series.

And I think it's also what keeps me coming back to specific authors - if they've hooked me enough that the ending feels like it came too suddenly, then I want more...

Please, sir, can I have some more?

Anonymous said...

I really like your point that you don't read the first chapter and the last to decide if you liked the book.

At the end of the day, it IS about the whole book, the journey.

So, let's recap. LOL. The whole book has to be awesome, and the ending has to completely wrap up the story and not piss off too many people. Does that sound right? (grin).

Great post.