Have you ever completely finished a story before?
On Episode - Yes, sorta, it was a collection of little ones, but I finished the collection.
On paper/MS Word - Yes. It’s pretty rare, but I’ve finished a few novel-sized stories. (I think all of them have an unfinished sequel/spinoff, but that’s another topic. )
Were you satisfied with the ending?
On Episode - Yeah, it wasn’t a hugely consequential story, mostly just a test run at Donacode.
On paper/MS Word - Usually, yes. Even though I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser, I generally knew where the ending was going to be, so I could steer the story toward something favourable. I only have one where the ending was weak, because a villain who was intended to be a background character hijacked the plot. Long story short, the big climax was like 50 pages away from the ending, lame af. But otherwise, I know what I’m doing on the dismount. (Survivorship bias there; if I don’t know where the ending is going, I often don’t get to the ending. )
Do you think your readers were satisfied with the ending?
On Episode - I’ve got 101 reads on a 4-ep story, and 4 fanmails, all are from sweet people with some version of “I really like the story!” So I suppose lol.
On paper/MS Word - My only reader is me, see above.
What do you think are some of the challenges to writing an ending to a story?
- Letting the characters go (don’t worry, you can always start a spinoff!)
- Wrapping up the arcs, if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew (tbh I rarely have more than one)
- Actually getting to the planned ending and not losing motivation along the way lol (the big one for me)
- Ironing out flaws in the canon (I run into this all the time with new and highly creative stories, rules have been used in the second half that weren’t legal in the first half, or events in the first half would be too overpowered in the second half, etc).
Did you feel influenced by your readers to end it a certain way? If so, did you give in to what they wanted?
On Episode - I publish complete.
On paper/MS Word - I don’t publish.
Have you ever completely finished reading a story before?
Seeing as I’ve been on the app for more than, like, a week, yes.
Were satisfied / unsatisfied with the ending?
-searching through my shelf- No, yes, no, kinda, ish, maybe, ew, kinda…
I’m thinking of one by a very popular author where the ending was beautiful (the whole thing was, imo). Then they just did a bonus scene where the main couple is old and one of them has just passed away, and I teared up like: “You LITERALLY did not have to do that.”
I’m thinking of another one maybe by the same author where I think the author was backed into a corner, a perfect ending was impossible given the events of the story. Imo (just imo) the way the author tried to compensate was even worse, had me yelling at my phone like “(through tears) What does that even mean??? ” Still 10/10 though, would recommend if you like to feel things. And now I can’t recommend it because I spoiled it, but still.
But yeah, I’ve seen great endings, bad endings, predictable endings (oh so many predictable endings) and everything in between.
My comments on the poll:
Open endings - There’s a difference between open endings like “And they had many more adventures in the years to come~” versus ones that do this: “Oh btw we didn’t solve one of the major arcs, goodbye.” To give an outdated example of the good kind of open ending, I think the ending of the first The Incredibles movie would have been a fantastic end to the series (but they opened it up because apparently rebooting shit is the theme of the decade). What appears to be a minor-medium villain appears… because the job of a superhero is never finished. -end credits-
Endings that show the characters several years into the future - Sure, why not I guess.
Bonus episode - Depends. Generally, if I got to consciously pick my ending, or if the best ending was easy to get, I don’t bother reading the extra endings. I can rarely drum up emotions for my chosen LI, let alone the others. But if getting max points was difficult, or on the rare occasion that I was split between the LIs, I like to see the other endings.
Sad endings - Nah. Give me sad in the story, and make me tear up with happiness at the end, that’s how ya get me.
We’re pregnant with twins - Borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring.