Sunday, January 18, 2015

Discussion: A predictable ending...is it really such a bad thing?

Fellow Page-Turners,

I have to admit that this is something that's been on my mind for a while. I talk with friends reading a romance novel and they say, "It was good but I knew they were going to end up together in the end, so I didn't like the ending."

And I just kind of look at them. "Really? You're reading a romance told by two people's perspective and you're surprised they end up together?"

Or a fantasy novel. "It was good but I knew the good guy would win, so it was boring."

That only happens in 98% of the books out there.So yeah, probably you did see that coming.

Who didn't think Harry Potter would beat Voldemort?

From Harry Potter 1, we knew that Harry and Voldemort would eventually face off. We could have guessed in book 1 Harry would win, but we didn't know how he would win, we didn't see the twists that took us to the end. We didn't know how the story would unfold. That's where the magic happened.

Harry beats Voldemort. We all saw that coming. Predictable endings are not always bad and twist (surprise endings) are not always great. The thing that matters is the journey to that end.

More Examples

For example, I love Christian romantic suspense. Henderson, Hannon, Pettrey, etc. They are awesome writers, but I always know how the book is going to end. There is a guy and a girl who are in love and the genre is suspense but is promising to have a romance in it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what will happen in the end?

I know from page 1 that said guy and girl will face dangerous times which they barely are able to overcome and end up together in the end. Is that such a bad thing?

I'm here to argue that predictable endings is not a bad thing. Now, cliched writing, unoriginal plots, unoriginal characters are in fact very bad things. I love twists. But sometimes twists are dangerous.

And twists aren't always a great things.

With so much focus on unpredictability, we seem to forget that oftentimes when an author goes against the ending we expect, we hate it just as much. 

Some Examples: NO SPOILERS WILL BE GIVEN. I WILL BE VAGUE. 

Hunger Games- nobody saw that ending coming and almost everybody hated it.

The Divergent series- once again, most people would have liked the novel better if it had ended in a more predictable guy and girl live happily ever after type way. 

The point I'm trying to make is that genres have certain ideas, certain archetypes established. In that way, a predictable ending isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Do you agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts?

Love,

Danica Page

6 comments:

  1. I agree with you 100%! Twists aren't always a positive thing. It's sometimes nice having the comfort of knowing what is going to happen. Like you said, the magic lies in how the story unfolds, not how it ends! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's nice to know somebody else agrees. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Definitely agree - it depends on how the ending comes about as to whether it's worth it or not. I've read plenty of books with predictable endings, but the way they got there made it a worth-while read. Plus there are definitely some terrible plot-twists out there that make you hate a book too.
    Thanks for sharing, a wonderful topic :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting. I definitely agree with you. Predictability isn't always a bad thing.

      Delete
  3. Predictable endings aren't always bad. I like to be surprised, but it's not the end of the world if I'm not. For example, the twist in Something Strange and Deadly didn't come as a shock, but it was still a great book and one of my favorite series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely agree with you. Thanks for commenting and for sharing your opinion.

      Delete

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