• Vince is a fellow writer whose blog I follow. I’ve noticed he likes these short posts, and I like them too. I’m a bit of a long-winded bastard myself, so I find Vince’s succinct brevity refreshing. It’s one of the reasons I visit his blog as often as I do.
  • But also, Vince has a talent for pointing out something important in just a few words. I don’t know if Vince intends to be sage-like in his brief utterance, or if he’s simply imparting some personal thoughts. Either way, I frequently find little gems hiding in his words.
  • In this case, I love that he gets at something I consider important– the open ending. As fiction writers living in a movie age (particularly as regards horror of both literature and film), I think many of us are wrapped up in the concept of tying everything up. I wonder if this is sometimes a grave mistake.
  • Vince left his most recent story with an open ending, which he dubbed “poetic.” I love Vince’s choice of words but also his choice of approach. I’m never more pleased than when I reach the end of a story with more questions than when I started it. I think stories lend to education and learning, critical thinking, and creative analysis. If, as writers, we spoon-feed every aspect of the story to our audiences, are we doing them a disservice? Are we cheating them of the enjoyable and enriching experience of asking and answering their own questions?
  • Perhaps we are. Many of my fictional works feature an open ending. For an example of this, check out my short story, “Physical” in the “Under-Belly Fiction” category of this blog or my novel, “At the Seams” on Wattpad (link on my profile page). I write my endings for an express purpose– I want my audience to wonder what I meant. I want my audience to bring their own understandings of life, the world, and other people to my story. And in my humble opinion, one very good way to do that is with the open ending.
  • All that being said, I respect the perfectly constructed plot. I don’t have as much fun with them, as an audience member, but I do respect them. And I’m capable of writing them (I’m working on a series of novels that require such detailed wrap-up, because they are dystopian political thrillers complete with conspiracies and a revolution). This story does not in any way lend to the open ending. The reason why is one part length and two parts content. So sadly, my “open ending” preference doesn’t always work. But, if you’re a writer who always wraps up the ending, try challenging yourself to leave some threads unknotted. You might be surprised how much you and your audience appreciates the imperfection!
  • Until next time, fellows, I hope you continue to love your Under-Bellies as much as I do. And please check out Vince’s blog! You might find little treasures there, as I do!
  1. Thanks for the positive feedback! I love your blog, too!

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