Finishing a story… Why endings?

Categories Mark Force, Mark's Thoughts and Life, Personal

So no less than fifteen minutes ago, I came up with what I have deemed a good ending to my first story.  Well, a “good ending” may be too strong, but it is an ending nevertheless.  I’ve struggled the past week or so with rounding it out, and I’ve been working on this specific story now for about two months.  Given that it is my first ever attempt and I actually haven’t spent tons and tons of time on it, I believe that this rough draft has turned out well.  However, I don’t like endings.  So no matter how satisfied I am with the end, I’m not quite happy that it has an ending.  I know that only writing half of a story is the easy way out, but why do you need an ending?  Cannot a story be beautiful and marvelous without an ending?  Now, you can’t do this with all stories, that much is true.  If I was writing a fantasy novel, I would want my story to have a good ending.  One that sums things up, that leaves the reader wanting to read it again, to see what happened not just once, but several times.  In order to achieve that, I believe that you need a fantastic ending.

But what about what I said before.  A story with beautiful characters, with amazing concepts and mechanics that just can’t end.  Well, I would much rather not finish it, than have to close it out in a way that ruins the rest of the novel.  Not every ending can have a big twist, or a big reveal.  Not every story needs that either.  At times, I don’t have the mental/emotional ability to end stories.  I have too many ways that a story could end, different paths that the characters could take.  A more professional person might say, “This is just one of the ways that you need to grow as a writer.”, but who put them in charge?  Who says that every story must have an ending?  Or a beginning, a middle, and an end?  Why are they dictating what people want to read, or what can be done artistically?  True, I will grow to be better at fleshing out endings, but I honestly just don’t want an ending in many of the ideas I have.  Endings are signifying that things are coming to a close, that things have terminated.

Now how’s that for a something sad.  A terminated story?  I’ve left several movies unfinished recently, simply because I couldn’t bear to let the producers ruin such a great concept.  At the same time, there are many movies and books that I couldn’t quit watching.  These endings were fantastic, and incredible.  I do think that if you either can’t finish a story for want of ruining it, or for the overwhelming possibilities that plague your mind, it’s okay!  These worlds are yours and no one else’s.  I for one, would be amazingly happy to read a story that is fantastic, shows where things are going to go, and then abruptly halts, leaving the reader to decide what happens.  When this is done, you have so many ways that the story can go, so many possibilities.  Nothing but wonderful things can happen in this format.  Obviously, this format is not for every story.  Many a story needs to be complete and whole.  But the select few that can be so fantastically done without a true ending, those select few are going to live with me forever.

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