The Ending of Stories

SPOILER ALERT: Before you read any further, you need to be aware that I am going to talk about the ending to a number some books and television shows; Divergent series and LOST being the two main ones. I would stop now if you don’t want to know how they end.

For the past few months, my husband and myself have been watching the television series LOST on Netflix. We’ve eager tried to guess what was happening and how these victims would end up, and this weekend we finally reached the end. And can I say, I was really disappointed, but not for what other people talked about.

I understand that they needed to wrap up all the story lines so the ended covered a great deal of information. I get the whole light issue and what it was suppose to represent. What I am disappointed about is the fact that the main character, Jack, dies at the end. Yes, technically, everyone dies in the end (the whole meeting in the church thing), but Jack doesn’t get to go home. Jack dies on the island. To me, this makes the hours I watched this television a waste.

A year or so back, I took the recommendations I had been hearing and got the Divergent series. I eagerly read through Divergent and then Insurgent, then delve into Allegiant desperately wanting to see what happens to these characters. And guess what! Tris dies. I would have thrown the book across the room if it hadn’t been on my Kindle.

Here is why both of these annoyed me so much…. I feel like the writer cheated me out of the happiness which is suppose to come with watching television shows, watching movies, and reading books. Not every moment is suppose to be happy, but you always have the fact that things will work out in the end in the back of your head. The reason to emerge yourself in these stories is to leave the life you are living and become the main character. But not a main character who dies in the end!

There are some exceptions to the rule to me. If from the beginning, you know that this character is going to die or at least get some hints this is going to happen, then okay. But when there is no warning, then I want a happy ending at the end of the book I read. The main character must be happy, for the most part. Not dying on the island they so desperately tried to leave.

This is definitely something I would call a pet peeve when it comes to reading a book or watching movies. And I am sure that there were/are million of people who have/will read and watch these two pieces of entertainment and not be bothered by how they ended. Some might even like that they ended different than everything else.

This proves that there are things that every reader/watcher look for when they delve into these types of entertainment. What I look for probably isn’t the same thing as what you look for. And the reverse is also true.

I also have learned that this isn’t a way I will end anything I write. Being an avid reader, I have learned the things in a book that do and don’t work to me. Ending a story with the main character dying is a no-no.

What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to plot in novels, movies, and television shows?

Writing links of the week:

Using Examples to Learn Beat Sheets

By Jami Gold

Monotasking: The Forgotten Skill You (and I) Need to Re-Claim, ASAP

By Therese Walsh


One thought on “The Ending of Stories

  1. Jami Gold says:

    Thanks for the shout out to my blog! 🙂

    I first heard of the Divergent brouhaha when Allegiant came out, and now I’m reading Divergent (the whole series) for the first time. So it will be interesting if my knowledge of the ending will affect how I enjoy the stories.

    I think there’s a chance I might enjoy them now because I’m prepared, whereas if it had caught me unaware, I would have hated the ending. So yes, put me down in the “no death” category. 🙂

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