Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Do you prefer happy endings?  Sad endings?  Does it depend?

I’m about to finish a role-playing campaign for the first time ever.  The other games I’ve played in have either faded away due to time constraints or are still in progress.  (The only campaign I’ve GMed suffered the first fate.  I’m hoping to remedy that soon.)

So as this final session approaches, I’ve got stories, plots and endings on the brain.

Sliding Doors has a great ending, mostly because it has a great plot.  It’s centered around what would happen if you 1) caught a train or 2) missed a train, and how at a pivotal point in your life, it could make a huge impact.  The ending sort of ties things up for both plot lines.  (I’m being vague on purpose because I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone.)

SW Return of the Jedi has a good ending on paper.  But I’m always disappointed when I watch that movie.  In fact, sometimes I watch it just to the point that Vader & Luke leave Endor to go see the emperor.  Everything after that point makes me sad in some strange way.  I think it’s because I don’t want the story to end.

LotR Return of the King has about 11ty billion endings.  Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy them all.  And I know they reflect events in the book.  I don’t particularly miss the scourging of the Shire.  But I also feel like sustaining that level of emotion is rough on an audience.  In the theater it was great, but now I typically am emotionally done after Sam marries Rosie.

So how does one balance these things?   A plot appropriate ending, not wanting to see the last of characters  you enjoy, and not emotionally wringing out people?

If I knew the answer, I don’t think I’d be blogging about it.  

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