June 26, 2018

Tell Me Something Tuesday: What Is Worse: Cliffhanger, Abrupt Ending or Open Ending?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:

WHAT IS WORSE: CLIFFHANGER, ABRUPT ENDING OR OPEN ENDING?

Abrupt endings for sure (though the only book with an abrupt ending I can recall reading is Remember Me 2: The Return by Christopher Pike). As I said in last week's TMST, I do believe that cliffhangers are poor storytelling, but it's not like they annoy me that much. Open endings I love, though I understand that they're not for everyone. Of course, they have to be done well...I feel strangely satisfied when an author doesn't wrap their story in your classic nice package. Maybe it's because I don't read romance, and this kind of ending is much more suitable for my favourite kind of books, like sci-fi or afterlife. Of course, not every book I read needs to have an open ending to be amazing LOL. Most of the times, I still get a sense of what's ahead, but at least it's not spelled out in big block letters...

Sorry for the nth Tennant/Who gif, but this one was too perfect to pass up LOL.

Well, that's it for now. And if you're interested in participating, here is the TMST prompt list for July:
  • July 3rd: Vacation reading: what books would you pack for your vacation?
  • July 10th: What do you like about reading on an ereader?
  • July 17th: What do you love about audiobooks?
  • July 24th: How have your reading habits changed since you started blogging?
  • July 31st: What are some popular series you haven't tried or have and stopped because they just don't appeal to you?
As usual, lots of fun/thought-provoking prompts coming! I'm skipping some turns this time. I don't do vacations (*sighs* - long story), and if I did, I would make the best of my time with no books around - I'd leave them for when I come home! I don't have an ereader, and I don't do audiobooks - I like physical ones (though I sometimes read eARCs on my computer). So, my next TMST will be on June 24th. I hope lots of you are joining in too!

Now tell me something...which kind of ending annoys you the most?

14 comments:

  1. When things are wrapped up too perfectly, I feel... disappointed. If it's the end of a really long series, sometimes I look forward to that finality, but I also like knowing that their stories will continue elsewhere (like my mind, if not on paper), so a little left unsaid is always nice.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Haha, there are very few of us, it seems. But to me it's like...life is never wrapped up too perfectly. Often, it isn't wrapped up at all. And although I mainly read for escapism, I don't feel at ease with fairy-tale-like endings, because I don't believe in them. Or maybe they're just too boring for me (I don't know if that's your case too). A hint of what happens next is good, but not too much of it. I do agree that it's different with series though.

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  2. Mhm this makes for an interesting discussion. If I have to choose between these three, I'd say open endings are far better too because they leave room for interpretation and that's fine. Abrupt endings are awful, I agree, and cliffhangers are only good if you're invested in the story. Otherwise they just serve to be annoying xD

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    1. Quote: "cliffhangers are only good if you're invested in the story. Otherwise they just serve to be annoying xD".
      LOL, very well said!

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  3. I only read/listen to ebooks and audiobooks occasionally, so my posts for those weeks will likely be pretty short if I get to them! Ah well...

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    1. They will still be longer than mine LOL.

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  4. What even is a vacation? I have heard of NO SUCH THING.

    Cliffhanger depends - open endings are nice but painful. General cliffhanger like Ruz said depends if I'm invested or not and if it's abrupt I'm usually not invested. 😅😅😅

    But too perfect is no fun. "Oh okay. So that happened. Whatever." Goes on to read another book. 🤷

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    1. Quote: "What even is a vacation? I have heard of NO SUCH THING."
      I think I went on one in 2005...🙄

      Quote: "But too perfect is no fun."
      Haha, absolutely! I know there are people who like their HEAs, and it's OK - but to me, the books that leave a lasting impression are often those that don't cut it off too nicely in the end. Are we masochists? 😂

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  5. I like my endings tied up neatly. I like answers. Most of all, I like to jump ahead to the future, and see some long term changes. I am not a fan of cliffhangers, because I have no patience and will stress out about not knowing what happened. I am also not a fan of the open ending. I read this book, the author should tell me what the ending really is for the characters.

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    1. Though I enjoy open endings, I agree that some books might use the "5/10/20 year from now" epilogue - it would be fun to get a glimpse of where the characters are at that point...provided that they're living (reasonably) happily ever after, because if not, readers would ugly cry for sure! 😉

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  6. Finally! Someone who agrees with me about open endings! "Most of the times, I still get a sense of what's ahead, but at least it's not spelled out in big block letters..." That's what I like too. I actually don't really like epilogues. If it shows things a month after a big battle or something, ok. But I don't need to see the characters kids five years later or whatever. But what I don't like is those open-to-interpretation endings in SFF where you're not even sure if all just a dream or something like that.

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    1. LOL, yes, it's not easy to find a fan of open endings. Maybe it's because we read odd books, for which the OE works better than for your average contemporary haha.
      I'm not sure if I've ever read open-to-interpretations books...maybe a couple? but they were in the magical realism/unreliable character field. And they did suggest the "right" interpretation nevertheless...or so I thought.

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