What makes a ending good?

One thing I notice bookdragons (including me) tend to complain a lot about are the last books in a series and just endings in general an ending can make or break a book, the final book changes my opinion on the whole series and often for the worst. Today I’ll be discussing different types of endings and what exactly I think makes a great ending great and why I think I’m so often disappointed with the last book in my favorite series.

Open endings.

I personally love open endings but I find that sometimes I need more and I tend to like a open ending in a standalone more than I do in a series with a series your really invested in the characters and the world and you want to be certain that their happy, I don’t mind a few lose ends but I hate having big questions left unanswered. With a standalone I don’t expect everything to be wrapped up because you only get one book with the characters and I find that with a standalone I don’t even mind if big things are left unanswered as long as the ending is well done.

The Happy ending were everything’s perfectly tied up.

It’s unrealistic to have everything be perfectly tied up especially in books with high stakes. It’s anticlimactic for a book to have you convened that someone’s going to die, because no way they can get out of this situation alive only to have no one die, or even get injured. It’s disappointing when a book sets up a great mystery only to have it be solved in a few pages or for the main villain to be supper easy to defeat basically I like things that are realistic. But on the other hand I don’t want my favorite characters to suffer I want them to get a happy ending yet I find I like the books were characters suffer more than ones where their happy.

The ending were everyone dies.

No one likes this ending it’s to sad and no one likes it when their favorite character dies. I get that some books are about dark things like the consequences of war and obviously a lot of characters are going to die in something like that. But you shouldn’t introduce a potentially cool characters only to have them die a few pages later readers just won’t care if they die they haven’t had a chance to get to know them yet.

Why I think we’re often disappointed by the last books in series.

  • It’s rushed. I’ve noticed a lot of last books often feel rushed this is why I don’t complain about waiting a while for a book. I’d rather wait for what feels like forever for an amazing book then get something that could have been better.
  • It’s boring. Maybe the author used all of the big plot twists to early on so the last book is boring, or the book is way to long and slow.
  • The author is evil. Why do my favorite characters always die?

 

Are you also frequently disappointed by series finals? Let me know in the comments what the most disappointing ending to a favorite series you’ve ever read is.
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14 thoughts on “What makes a ending good?

  1. You make a lot of good points – endings do sometimes feel rushed and that is so annoying. I personally like a fairly tied up ending, but leaves you with a few questions. I think the problem nowadays is that authors can write books with a sequel/trilogy firmly in mind, regardless of whether the book takes off or not. Because of this, some books have iffy “cliffhanger” endings purely as a way to try and shoehorn the reader into reading their 2nd book. Those are just my thoughts anyhow! x

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      1. I find it’s definitely more of an issue with YA books nowadays, so I tend to stay away from that genre. Book trilogies have become more about making money & publicity than they have about expanding the storyline and developing their unique characters, settings and events.

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          1. The last YA series I read was The Hunger Games, which was enjoyable, but I didn’t fancy reading recycled duplicates like the Divergent books. I did used to enjoy YA though, and it would be nice to get back into it.

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  2. Off the top of my head, The Grisha Trilogy has to be the most disappointing. My idea of a well wrapped up finale is The Red Rising trilogy, as much as I didn’t want it to end, I was very satisfied with the ending. Too often in YA, we get trilogies that get extended once they blow up & get movie deals. The reader gets left in the dust as its no longer about them but about the franchise.

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    1. I’ve haven’t read Red Rising I really need to I’ve heard really good things about it. I also haven’t read the last Grisha book because I got spoiled on the ending and I didn’t like what happened I wasn’t a big fan of the series anyway.

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  3. Interesting discussion. I think a bad ending is one where we don’t get much resolution of the plot – whether or not the characters are alive to see it is unimportant. When an ending is rushed or there are unsatisfactory explanations to major plot points, I would say it’s a bad one. Open endings are hit or miss – you either like them or you don’t. I like that they’re open to interpretation but sometimes I just want a little more just to know that my characters are alright 😛

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