I've been talking a bit about the ending of LOST lately. It keeps coming up, as I reminisce with friends about old shows we used to love to talk about and speculate about.
And I keep thinking about the ending. And how disappointed I was in it. I loved nearly all of the show... even the first hour and fifteen minutes of the finale. I felt the creators were going to do it, were going to get it done.
And then, the last fifteen minutes completely invalidated a part of the show for me. It's just an opinion. I don't hate the creators for their ending. It was their ending, and they should stand by it. There are some people who love it, and it is their right to.
But it gets me thinking about writers and their endings. Endings are hard. They need to have an emotional impact, they need to be full of tension and excitement and they need to be satisfying. And they need to hold true that has come before it.
Those are high stakes.
When I write, I rarely have an ending in mind. I follow the characters, see where it takes me and hope the ending comes about organically. And with each of my novels, the ending has been revised several times until I got to something that fit.
But it stuns me when most writers say they have an ending in mind when they start. When I start I'm still learning the characters and what they want. The ending can't come until I know that.
The creators of LOST said they had their ending in mind--the final shot--when they started. I believed that, but I don't know that you can be beholden to that.
Endings are hard.
Ending this blog post is hard.
I think GET SHORTY said it best.
What do you look for in an ending? Can an ending completely invalidate a story for you? Can it completely redeem a story for you? What are some of the best and/or worst endings you've read?