(Aaah aaah ah aaah aaah ah aaah aaah aaaaaah!!)
“Good Morning Jim,
You’ve wrote many times about how to end a story and where to end it. In your opinion, couldn’t there be a scenario where a story wouldn’t end? Is it not possible to have a serial adventure go on forever?
In my opinion, as you asked, no. All things end and all though the Simpsons are currently defying this philosophy, it won’t last forever. Life ends, existence ends, stories end, everything at some point must end, that is the way of the world. I know that sounds somewhat depressing and dreary, but it really doesn’t have to be. Without an end, there is no closure. With no final answers to questions of the story, there is no completion and no satisfaction. This is why stories with open endings where things are left uncertain often crash and burn, while it’s always a good idea to let the audience connect as many dots as possible, there are certain aspects that should be answered for you to have a complete story if there will be no further sequels.
Again, this is my own personal opinion, I’ll let my readers voice their own opinions and let you what they think as well, but honestly, a story cannot go on forever. What attracts readers is the ability to relate to characters of a story. Characters age, die, and retire… To take that aspect away removes a major sense of realism to the story. There is also the risk that your story will eventually become repetitive.
This is especially true if you subscribe to the theory penned by Christopher Booker in his book, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. He penned the idea that writers only write 7 plots; Rebirth, Tragedy, Comedy, Voyage and Return, The Quest, Rags to Riches, and Overcoming the Monster. In this theory, there is no way to not become repetitive.
Personally, I don’t like this theory… but have yet to debunk it. So Jackson, in the end, I truly, honestly believe that there is no way to continue a story forever and it is ill-advised to try.
On a side note, if you’re having trouble ending a story, as I so often do, allow me the luxury of providing you with a song I often listen to that helps me write endings… and keep in mind that I recommend this being a person who is not fond of country music:
Readers, what do you think? What is your opinion of Jackson’s question?
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
Catch you on the flip side!