Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Happily Ever After – Maybe Not…! Reblog

July 17, 2014
mandyevebarnett


reblogApologies for missing this re-blog yesterday – crisis required attention!

Please see the attached link for the original

http://thewritelife.com/cliches-avoid-4-story-endings-readers-will-hate/

I have placed the post here:

Writing a book is difficult, but crafting an ending that is both impactful and wraps the plot up beautifully is even more so.

You worked hard to create a beginning that grabbed your readers, so make sure to write an ending that lives up to the rest of your story. Relying on clichés will only leave your readers feeling disappointed and dissatisfied.

Stay away from these four cliché endings:

1. The happily ever after

What it is: All of the characters in your book live happily ever, with no hardships to bear. The hero defeats his foes and all of the plot twists are nicely tied up – perhaps a little unrealistically.

Why to avoid it: Life doesn’t necessarily end happily ever after, which makes this type of ending feel disingenuous. You want your readers to feel enthralled with your book so that they’ll want to share it with friends, read more of your work or even re-read your story. Real life isn’t perfect, so make sure that your book stays in the realm of realism.

2. The drawn-out dream

What it is: The drawn-out dream ending involves the main character waking up safe and sound in their bed, realizing that the entire plot has just been a dream.

Why to avoid it: This type of ending typically annoys readers, who feel that the author has copped out. A book should be emotional to everyone involved, and an author who uses this ending seems to betray readers’ trust and cheapen the emotions they’ve felt throughout the book.

3. The guilty hero’s monologue

What it is: When the hero finally defeats the bad guy or force, the reader is privy to her internal thoughts of regret or remorse. The monologue is supposed to show the character’s guilt at what she’s had to do and how it’s eating away at her. Even though the ending is happy, our hero must now live with the blood on her hands.

Why to avoid it: In general, writers should strive to show, not tell, readers what is happening in the book. By strongarming readers into feeling specific, manufactured emotions, you are taking away their freedom to experience the story in a way that is reflective of their background and experiences. Readers may feel they are being led to specific conclusions, and few enjoy the feeling of an author holding their hand throughout a book — especially the ending.

4. The lover’s life

What it is: This is a special twist on the happily ever after ending, in which the main character falls in love, sometimes for an unexplained or random reason. It shows that true love makes the world go ‘round and that all that happened in the course of the story was worth it.

Why to avoid it: Unrealistic endings tend to annoy readers. If a love interest is too sudden, it isn’t all that real. If it is unexplained, it leaves your characters lacking depth. The truth is that not everyone falls in love and lives happily ever after. The best endings are unique, somewhat realistic, and really make your readers think.

Thank you to Allison VanNest for allowing me to share this insightful post with you all.

Have you ever rewrote a novel’s ending? Care to share?

My alternate ending to Life in Slake Patch was due to persuasion from my writing group members. The original left my protagonist awaiting a trial’s outcome. The revision gave my readers a verdict.

 

Show the Love Every Day Not Just Valentines…

February 14, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Let’s show the love today and remember not only those nearest and dearest but also that this is the Year of  Reading Women. Grab a novel from your favorite female author.

readwomen2014

http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/01/is-2014-the-year-of-reading-women/

Although, historians are not positive on the exact origins of Valentine’s Day, the Catholic church did honor the martyrdom of St. Valentine. He was jailed for performing marriages in spite of a ban made by Claudius, the Roman Emperor. Two men called Valentine were executed on 14th February in different years of  3rd century A.D.

Valentine

There is also evidence that in Roman times, men would literally hit on women during the feast of Lupercalia, celebrated from 13th to 15th February. A goat or dog would be sacrificed and then the hides were used to whip the women. The women believed this practice would make them fertile. At the same time young men would draw names of women out of a jar and couple with them for the duration of the festival, some would last longer depending on the love match. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius, combined St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia in an attempt to expel the pagan ritual. To add more confusion the Norman’s celebrated Galatin’s Day. The name Galatin means ‘lover of women’ and thus was muddled into the ‘loving day’ too.

William Shakespeare and Chaucer further romanticized the festival in their writing. Hand-made paper cards became love tokens – du-jour – in the Middle Ages and so began the multi-million industry for cards, flowers and chocolates.

For good measure – Sonnet 18:

sonnet-18

Today’s prompt should, of course, have a love theme.

Choose one line from Sonnet 18 and create your own love poem from it. Feel free to share.

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