January 30, 2012

Starting or Stopping: That is the Question

Since January is coming to an end, I thought I'd look over all the prompts I didn't use from BlogHer's NaBloPoMo this month. One prompt caught my eye: Which do you enjoy more--the start of a book or the end?

Hands down, the beginning. But not the first few pages, the beginning third of the book. I love the excitement of getting to know the characters and connecting with the storyline. It's the beginning of a vacation to a new land.

If I love a book, I don't want it to end. Even an enjoyable happy ending is an ending. The only time I enjoy an ending is if I'm glad the book is over. That's not good.

Totally different opinion when I'm writing a book. I enjoy the beginnings of putting a story together, but I also find them the hardest to write. The middle is tough, too. My favorite parts to write are the meat of the story (from halfway to almost the end).

But, then there is the dreaded ending. My book club friends will tell you, we complain the most about endings. Either they wrap up too quickly, fall flat, or disappoint. Rarely do we all agree that an ending worked or made the story better. Knowing this, I find writing endings especially stressful.

I would love some other thoughts, from both readers and writers. What's your favorite part of the book? The start or the end? Does it change as a reader versus a writer?


Jess said...

I have to agree. For reading, I like the beginning and middle of a story. I never want it to end, especially if it's a story I LOVE.

As a writer, my favorite parts to write are the middle and the end. But the middle has always been the hardest part for me. I've always been good with beginnings but they tend to be less exciting.

Tia Bach said...

Jess, I so get what you are saying about what I write well versus what excites me to write.

I do find beginnings extremely hard, because I know that's what readers judge (and agents!).

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Anonymous said...

Laura says:

For me, I love reaching the end of a good book. I get this warm, satisfied feeling after turning the last page knowing everything ends well for the characters (yes, I’m a sucker for happy endings). But in writing, at least in my experience, the ending is by far the hardest. This is where all the puzzle pieces you presented throughout the story must link together perfectly. For me, this is easier said then done!

Eloise said...

I find that it completely depends on the book. Some have a long windup before anything happens which is ok if the middle and end are worth it (I sneak peeks ahead).

But I have to say that I hate to reach the end of something that is really good.

Natalie Hartford said...

I am with you, for reading I love the first 1/3 of the book as it draws me in and we fall in love with each other! LOL!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks Laura, Eloise, and Natalie. It's so wonderful to share with obvious book lovers!