“We’re All Stories In The End.” – Teens Can Write, Too! September 2014 Blog Chain

tcwt-3[1]This month’s prompt is:

What are your favorite book beginnings and/or endings?

I’m going to talk about general types of beginnings/endings, rather than specific ones. I’ll offer examples, of course, but I’ve noticed that there isn’t ONE beginning (or ending) that I love. I love many of them, and have also noticed that they can usually sorted into groups… I guess I love some beginnings and endings so much that I like to see them over and over again!

Beginnings

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please, your Majesty?” he asked. “Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

+ I like beginnings that show the main characters discovering a world gregor[1]that they didn’t know existed. If a book (or any type of story) opens this way, there is a ninety-nine-point-nine percent chance that I will absolutely adore it. I love stories where characters discover that dull ordinary life isn’t all there is: Magic also exists, and fairies too, and hidden lands, and time-traveling. Et cetera. I LOVE that sense of magic and wonder and awe found in those beginnings. I like escapist books, I guess. I wish I could open a book and be taken away to another world – literally.

Some examples?

  • The Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • The Kiki Strike series by Kirsten Miller
  • The Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  • (And Doctor Who!)

I think I have only one type of favorite beginning, honestly. But don’t worry – I have loads of favorite endings!

Endings

“I’ll be a story in your head, but that’s okay, because we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know. It was the best: A daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away.”

 Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who, “The Big Bang” 

the geography of you and me+ I love happy, sometimes ridiculously mushy endings. Because they make me smile!


Some examples?

  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Ash by Malinda Lo
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

+ However, sometimes I also adore sad or even tragic endings. I don’t really know why. It depends on my current mood, I suppose. I can be just as satisfied with a sad ending as with a happy ending, provided they’re both written well.

Some examples?400px-Gatsby_1925_jacket

  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

+ I absolutely freaking ADORE ambiguous endings. I love endings that don’t tell me exactly what happened, where I can decide for myself where the characters go and what they do and – most importantly – whether the story’s ending was happy or sad. I like to make up my own theories about such things, and sometimes I change them – again, all according to my mood at the time of reading (or as the case may be, rereading).

dramaramaSome examples?

 

  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and Dramarama by E. Lockhart
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
  • Malice and Havoc by Chris Wooding
  • Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

+ I love long, drawn-out romantic stories/subplots that culminate right at the very end – but no sooner. These endings are always so cute! I don’t want the characters to get together right away. It’s much more satisfying if their romantic tension and chemistry together slowly increases until, two- or three- or four-hundred pages later, they’re finally a couple. I don’t like many romantic stories but if they’re written this way, I am guaranteed to like them.


Some examples? ash

  • Ash by Malinda Lo
  • Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Well, that’s the end of my favorite-endings list. But it’s not the end of this post. Not quite. Because there is one ending that is possibly my favorite of all time, but that doesn’t easily fit into any of the four types of endings above.

My favorite ending EVER is the conclusion of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t yet read this book, but IT. IS. a game of thronesAMAZING. It’s beautiful yet deadly, and incredibly well-written – I read that Martin originally wrote a novella consisting of only that character’s scenes, and then expanded it into the novel we know today. And it’s obvious once you’ve read the story… because not a word is out of place in that chapter and it makes that kick-butt scene EVEN BETTER. I read that ending and went, “…oh. WHOA. This changes everything!”

…strangely enough, it’s also my favorite beginning. Not the ending, of course. But that whole book. It’s the first in a series of epically long books, and it’s a stunning beginning. Very well written, et cetera. It sets the tone for the whole series – namely, that characters don’t necessarily reap what they sow, so bad things happen just as often to good guys as to bad guys.

Can you tell that I love this book? And that I think you should read it too? READ IT.

-~-

Are any of my favorite types of beginnings and endings also your favorites? Or do you have different favorites? I’d love to know!

Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:

7th – http://vergeofexisting.wordpress.com/

8th – http://zarahoffman.com/

9th – http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

10th – http://www.elizamcfarlish.weebly.com/

11th – http://sammitalk.wordpress.com/

12th – http://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/

13th – https://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

14th – http://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

15th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/

16th – http://magicandwriting.wordpress.com/

17th – http://ttkesley.wordpress.com/

18th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/

19th – http://www.freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/

20th – http://roomble.wordpress.com/

21st – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

22nd – http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

23rd – http://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

24th – http://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/

and http://www.paperdaydreams.com/

25th – http://write-where-you-are.blogspot.de/

and http://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

26th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/

and http://anmksmeanderingmind.wordpress.com/

27th – http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

and http://dynamicramblings.wordpress.com/

28th – http://oliviarivers.wordpress.com/

and http://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com/

29th – http://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/

30th – http://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

and http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for October’s chain!)

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Teens Can Write Too!, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to “We’re All Stories In The End.” – Teens Can Write, Too! September 2014 Blog Chain

  1. Cait says:

    I absolutely adored the ending of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. IT WAS FREAKISLY sweet! I kind of melted, just a little. 😉 I really like ambiguous endings. I love it when nothing’s set in stone, and the reader gets to make up stuff, and there are just so many questions. That’s how I usually write my endings as well. But, gosh, now you have me super curious about the Game of Thrones ending.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I know, right? It totally wasn’t the ending I was expecting. So for that reason (and because it was written so well, to boot), I loved it. 🙂

      It’s soooooo good and I can’t wait until you read it, because then we can geek out about it! 😀

  2. “We’re all stories in the end” is my favorite Doctor Who quote! The endings are always perfect, though. 😛 Mostly. And yeah, I agree. I’ve had a lot of people tell me to go read literary fiction, but it’s just not for me. I read to escape. To run away from life. And with literary fiction, it’s too hard. Even with YA contemporary. But worlds of magic and dragons and daft old men stealing blue police boxes? It’s all too easy to be swept up, up, and away.

    • nevillegirl says:

      It’s a lovely quote. 😀 Doctor Who is worth watching just for the quotes!

      I’ve tried literary fiction, but I really didn’t like it, so I probably won’t read much more of it. It was just so… dull? Not to mention pretentious, usually. Why would I want to read about ordinary life? I live an ordinary life each and every day. 😛
      It’s the same with contemporary fiction. I’ve read a few that I liked (coincidentally, I just finished a really good one – Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – and am in the middle of another so-far-good one – Like No Other by Una LaMarche) but most of the time, they’re just boring. I’d rather have a dragon than a contemporary book. 😛

  3. I love both tragic and sweet, mushy endings! I guess they balance each other out. I’m pretty interested in GoT but I’m afraid it’ll be too graphic. I will probably try it out anyway.

    • Miriam Joy says:

      GoT certainly scores high on the graphic scale… I think I was permanently traumatised.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I think tragic and sweet endings balance each other out wonderfully. 🙂

      GoT is super graphic, but on the other hand it’s a fascinating story. You just have to decide which one is more important to you, I guess. 😛 I continued with it even though it makes me wince sometimes…

  4. The Inkheart series hold such an important place in my heart ❤ Glad to find a fellow silvertongue 🙂

  5. Alyssa says:

    *high-five* A Song of Ice and Fire is AMAZING. I re-read at least one of the books every month (unless I’m conducting my yearly LOTR reread, which eats up a quarter of a year … oh well) and they’re still every bit as awesome. ASOIAF is also on my list, but with a twist (ooh, that rhymed!).

    Loved a lot of the other choices on your list: Inkheart, The Secret Garden, The Giver. (School “model answers” really ruined that last one for me, but it’s still great.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      ASOIAF is one of my favorite series of all time. 😀

      I hate reading books for school. It just sucks the fun out of it. I’d rather think about the book on my own time, rather than feel like I have to give specific answers. :/

  6. Gah, you have too many good ones for me to comment on. XD All the same, The Giver, Game of Thrones, and The Great Gatsby (look at those G’s go…) are all awesome. 🙂

  7. Roo says:

    Ahhhh! Yay! Someone else who loves Inkheart!! 😀 Those books are the BEST! (Also, love the Doctor Who quote 🙂 )

  8. Leinad says:

    Wow, you took a very different tack to me with this. Fantastic post.

    The sheer number of books that fit the beginning formula you discussed is quite astounding. I’m sure I’ve read several more that you haven’t even mentioned, though the only one I can think of right now is *Lord Foul’s Bane* by Stephen Donaldson.

    I, too, very much like the ending to *Heart of Darkness*. I love the whole little novel, in fact. (I spent a very large amount of time, this year, writing a short story of mine own that was inspired by it).

    I really need to read *A Game of Thrones* some time. It’s such a brick though… and all of its sequels are too. And I’m a slow reader…

  9. Pingback: The Best Fantasy Books...? [Poll]

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