Re: A Good End, Is it Important?

Bluelightning42 Wrote: Personally for my own story I wrote a plan from start to end in terms of minor acrs and certain events I wanted to have happen. I wrote a huge amount of this info before I started writing. 
Some of those plans were incredibly detailed but my plan for the last arc was really loose and I slowly grew out of it as my story progressed. I kind of wrote a SOL story so the specific plan I had for the end started to feel like it didn't fit and I ended up coming up with a new one ~15 chapters before the end and only really finalized it 5 or so before the end.

A whole year of posting can change the plan you have quite a bit. I'm not sure how happy I am with it - its okay but maybe not phenomenal? - but I'm incredibly happy I actually committed to being able to say "the end".
This can happen, when a plan doesn’t align. I stop and reevaluate what I have written, then I will adjust the plan. As, you cannot expect to follow everything down to the point. The purpose is to have a guideline, and a reason why I almost never post while I write. Changes can happen, I can develop a better pathway, etc. 

A recent example is from my latest work, the last three chapters went differently than I initially planned. I realized this just before reaching them, so I went ahead and adjusted the last few. Which gave me time to workout the quirks it can have, and ultimately led to a stronger ending than I originally envisioned. 

Though, it wasn’t a massive change to each chapter. Since what I planned was strong enough to be used, I simply made some changes. My longer works now, those ones are ironed in on the ending. Sure, I made some adjustments how they went. Though, it always will have the same result at the end. These are unchangeable factors, due to it being strongly died into the plot itself. 

Just know, you won’t be using every idea you write down, but the point is to have options. If it does not fit, you can throw it out just fine and go down the list of stuff. I usually write enough scenarios, to where I won’t have to come up with something new on the spot. If I do have to do so, the plan is adjusted and I connect the pathway before continuing. 

Re: A Good End, Is it Important?

Endings are important and I think GOOD endings are really hard to pull off to the satisfaction of both the author and reader, which is why many of us are disappointed by them. What sounds fine to the author may be an affront to the reader, who is often more invested in the characters than the story, per se. And vice versa. Sometimes the writer abandons traditional (and satisfying!) story structure in favor of delivering what he sees as a fitting fate to one or more characters.  (See: the meandering made-up-as-it-aired "Lost" vs. the master planned and intricately woven "Breaking Bad.")

I am writing what I consider a true serial, with an ongoing story that has no overall Grand Ending that wraps up everything all at once. However, I DO wrap up separate plotlines or character paths at various times so if the reader is following the story mainly for one thing or another, they have a natural stopping point. I think in a serial that's especially important. Readers deserve resolution and sensible plotting and I would never unnaturally extend a character or plotline's usefulness just to manipulate readers into sticking with me. That's also why I didn't start publishing here until I had over 100,000 words/a year's worth of content in the bag, as a promise to both readers and myself that the story wouldn't be abandoned after a few weeks or months.

Re: A Good End, Is it Important?

Personally, I have wanted to murder an author for not ending a fantastic story in a fantastic way. One of the books I am thinking of ended with death. The death of the series, the death of the hero. Ugh. It made me angry. However, at times, I think a crushing ending will cause your book to stand out in a sea of others. I will never be able to forget this specific series. I thought about the book long after I finished reading it, wondering how the author thought the world would move on after the loss. I was finishing the story myself, if you will. 
In other words, yes, a bad ending turns me off of a book but when done well, a bad ending draws me in and keeps me prisoner in the world and story that the author created. Is this truly a bad ending, or is it a good ending in disguise?