How important is it for the ending of a novel to satisfy?
To what extent can an author be held responsible for this, or is it down to the heart and mind of the reader?
In 2012 I published an online article about novel endings in which I quoted Robert McKee in his excellent book Story. He describes many different types of endings, in popular films and novels. He says the main protagonist may not achieve their desire, but ‘the flood of insight that pours from the gap delivers the hoped-for emotion… in a way we could never have foreseen.’
I believe the end to a novel must satisfy, wheher it be ironic, bittersweet, tragic, creepy, heartbreaking, chilling, shocking, tantalising or fairy-tale happy.
A good end to a story may deal out poetic justice, wisdom, truth, comedy, surprise, a frisson of terror… but it should never…
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