1. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    How do you feel about multiple endings?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Inspired writer, Jan 25, 2012.

    How do you feel about a book ending with a simlutaneous ending? Both good and bad? Possibly another?
     
  2. SunnyDays
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    SunnyDays Member

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    Sounds strange. Unless you had the character stop and think through possible endings in vivid detail...then cut.
     
  3. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    Interesting albeit confusing question. I'm assuming you mean alternative endings for the overall plot, and not simply different degrees of ending for each individual character. Unless you're working with some sort of time travel or parallel universe, it is going to be incredibly difficult to have to different endings happen simultaneously. All in all, it sounds a bit wishy-washy. I would say pick an ending and stick with it, unless the parameters exist within your work to allow for multiplicity.
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    confused. the author couldn't choose? I'd feel pretty unsatisfied I think.
     
  5. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I think it's an interesting concept. Buy Book A for X ending, or buy Book B for Y ending. Personally, I'd rather just sit on the edge of my seat as I leaf through the last few chapters of a book to (hopefully) be pleasantly surprised by the ending.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd feel it wasn't worth the money to buy it or my time to read it...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It sounds fatally unfocused.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Nothing ticks me off more than an author who can't make up his/her mind. Even as a child, I disliked "The Lady and the Tiger". Worst case I ever saw was Allan Drury, who wrote one Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "Advise and Consent", and then a string of awful screechy polemics in a series. The 4th of these was "Preserve and Protect", in which two men, each a leader of a polar wing of his political party, vie for that party's presidential nomination (this was written in the 1960s, when both American political parties had a liberal and conservative wing). In an effort to finally unify the party, they agree to run as a ticket - one for President, one for Vice President, and they announce this at a huge rally at the Washington Monument. Shots ring out, and all you know is that one candidate was killed, but you don't know which one. End of book.

    Drury waited several years before writing "Come Nineveh, Come Tyre", the presidency of Ted Jason, assuming that the liberal candidate was the survivor. Then he wrote "The Promise of Joy", the presidency of Orrin Knox, assuming the conservative candidate was the survivor (guess who Drury liked?). At the end of the first, the US becomes a vassal state to the Soviet Union. But in the latter, the USSR and China go to war with each other. The world begs Knox to intervene. At the end of the book, the missiles have been launched. But Drury doesn't tell you at whom. End of book.

    I always thought that Drury didn't want to be responsible for the ending. He didn't really have a complete view, and I think it was because, in the final analysis, he wasn't interested in telling a story. He only wanted to make a point. At least in his very first book, he wanted to tell the story (making the point was secondary, as it should have been). My advice is to decide on the story you want to tell, and then tell it. Let the finish be what you believe it should be, not an a la carte menu.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Anniexo
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    Anniexo Member

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    What if the two different endings were due to two story's with the same characters.

    E.G. Story one; A woman misses her train home which gives her cheating husband time to send his lover away. Story two; Same woman gets her train just in times and catches her husband with his lover. (I know this is a film but I haven't seen it nor can't I remember the name of it) So you have two plots they will run along side each other and in the end, have two different endings.
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The film is "Sliding Doors", and it really is two stories but with one ending, because the ending of one thread picks up the story of the other. Good flick, cleverly done (add a star if you're a Gyneth Paltrow fan).
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The key to having more than one dominant storyline is to relate them, and the realtionship between them should be an important part of the message the writer is delivering.

    It's usual for a novel to combine an external conflict with a personal growth journey. But these are not independent storylines. The plots interact closely.

    If the two storylines are not intimately connected, they should not be in the same novel.
     
  12. DDentonas
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    DDentonas New Member

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    Works on games just fine. Not so sure about books. You have to tell us a bit more about what you are writing and how you intend on implementing the multiple endings.

    I don't think it could work if you just change the last paragraph though, i believe that you should write the same story completely different. Tricky but interesting.
     
  13. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    Well the intention was to write the same story but from two or maybe more angles until I found out they had already done it in 'vantage point'. Was just an idea anyway.
     
  14. DDentonas
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    DDentonas New Member

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    Well, that's not multiple endings, its i-dont-know-how-to-call-it-in-one-word, and it doesn't matter if someone else did it, it's an interesting idea and if you like it, go for it!
     

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