Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unexpected Endings: The Bad Medicine of the Literary World

Hello everyone! I thought today I would mix it up a little bit. Instead of a review or a haul or something of that nature, I thought I would share what's on my mind this week concerning all things literary. Just to keep you all on your toes.

So. This week had me thinking about unexpected endings. You know, when you're reading a book and the ending is completely the opposite from what you had planned out in your head.

I've found that nowadays, I see more and more authors going out of their way to make the endings to their story unexpected, for originality's sake. Just looking at my library now, I can spot quite a few examples of the unexpected ending. For me, this can be a good or bad thing.

Enter bad medicine. I thought this would fit the description of the unexpected ending perfectly. For instance, you read a book you absolutely love and the ending totally bashes your expectations. You rage, you fume, you throw your book at a wall (oops). But after you settle down and think about it, you realize that your unexpected ending was actually the right one. You realize that the ending was fresh and original, and it keeps you on your "literary" toes. Just like bad medicine. You hate the taste of that awful medicine; you gag, you cough, but in the end, it does you good.

But there is a darker side to this tale ladies and gents. There is the time when authors purposely change their ending to make it seem "unique." They'll kill off a main character for no apparent reason, or throw a huge setback in to avoid the cliched "happy ever after." That's when I have a problem.

Anywho, that's what's been turning the cogs upstairs. Your thoughts?


Jillian said...

Well, I'm all for originality and surprise twists and turns, but like you said, if they don't contribute anything at all to the plot, then just don't do it! They could be great, if done right.

Untouchable Treasure said...

Jillian: I absolutely agree. They definitely require a lot of thought and consideration.

We Heart YA said...

We completely agree with you and Jillian. Surprises for the SAKE of surprises, and nothing more, are terrible. But surprises that fit the story, that we didn't see coming but now if we look back we can see a mile away, THOSE are great.

Untouchable Treasure said...

We Heart YA: Definitely agree! :)


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