Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Climax


I know. I know.
I was getting really tired of seeing "bathtub sex' come up on the keyword searches. I want to see if this generates another set of porno peepers. An expression of a different type of vulgar curiosity I suppose. I will try to avoid execrable puns in the process.

Sooo, how do you feel about the various methods of denouement? The apres climax?
Unless, there is a clear indication that specific themes/questions are intended to be continued - and eventually answered - in a later book in a series, I like the important things explained down to the last jot and tittle.
All tied and tidy. This is fiction, not reflection. I hate being left with "yeahbutwotabouts."
I don't deal with frustration well. Have been known to rip paperbacks in half in an excess of rage. Coy endings are a cheat in my book. Of course, those are usually designed, rather than careless.
At the same time, an information dump in the last chapter has to be well-handled, so the debriefing is natural and not artificial. Mysteries are particularly prone to the tell-all-in-the-last-chapter form, usually because the murky plot produced is so complicated that no one has a clue wotinhell is going on. It can become tedious when they answer even questions you don't care about. But that's taste, not weakness.
I really prefer the style where conundrums raised are answered incrementally as the book progresses, so that at the end only a few major points are left to be elucidated. Patterned prose. Leapfrog suspense.
And there's the one liner Surprise! ending.
Like a good joke. Like Bonnie's ( it was you, wasn't it Bonnie? With the "clean my house?" set -up?) and the male variant "Iron this" that James posted t'other day.
Funny thing about those parallel jokes - and my reaction may be solely gender based. Bonnie's felt complete. Jame's recitation made me want more of the story - perhaps because I wonder who irons anymore- and his protag simply deserved more time. Tall, dark and drooly, you know.
As usual, it comes down, not to what but how. The skill.
Even aliens arriving in Chapter Twelve.
I get the greatest kick out of Guy Gavriel Kay's books.
Because the deus ex machina is usually the deus.

20 comments:

Dennie McDonald said...

I, lover of books, have lobbed books across the room when the ending really sucked. (and it was a library book that put a dent in my wall!)

I am with you - I reada book by a local sorta well know gal here - and she let the highed gun go ... nothing happened to him other than he faded into the night - HATED THAT - hello - you need to have some closure there! (and no there wasn't a sequel)

Ric said...

Or you get a much published author who (must have a buzzer on his computer that says - 80,000 words - stop now. And tries to tie up all the loose ends in 5 pages.)

Am I the only one who reads Dean Koontz?

Drives me up the wall. Endings must be satifactory.

Aliens arrive in Chapter 14.

Bernita said...

One thing I've seen well done is a serial romance sub-theme in a mystery adventure that leaves one temporarily satisfied but wanting more.
Elizabeth Peters managed it for about 6 books. Now that's skill. Of course, in another series she manages a serial villain really well too.

M. G. Tarquini said...

A satisfactory ending is one that explains the appropriate amount. So, I have no blanket answer on this. Nothing pisses me off more than a lame ending.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Unsatisfactory endings sometime turn me off from trying a specific authors next book. Yes, Ric I love Dean Koontz...speaking of Ric...

Psst...Bernita...go read Ric's post for today....LOL!!!Auhhh...(insert maniacal laughter here!)

James Goodman said...

Oddly enough, it was your post on the male cliche that inspired the iron this post. (which incidentally I googled because I couldn't remember exactly how the joke went).

Bernita said...

Bonnie, I'm hurt.
Yes, hurt.
Ric turned it around completely.
And here I thought I was complaining about women stereotyping men.
Hmmm. Maybe Ric does have a "feminine" side.
I WILL sharpen that pitchfork.

I enjoyed it, Goody. But for some unknown reason I wanted more story????
Is that a Good Thing?

Tsavo Leone said...

Anyone read Hannibal by Thomas Harris?

Now there's a good example of when a "... but what about..." would have worked so much better than the eighty-plus pages of unadulterated tripe Mr Harris produced to tie up his Lector stories.

(Apparently he also re-wrote the ending specifically for the screenplay because of the critical backlash to the novel's ending, giving it a much better 'ambiguous' feel to it... apparently.)

James Goodman said...

"Is that a Good Thing? "

lol! I certainly don't think it would be a bad thing...

Bernita said...

I confess I've never read it, Tsavo. True crime is bad enough, without booklength fictional flourishes to scare the livin' bejaysus out of me.
I suspect that one would - inspite of the unmitigated crap.

You're good, James.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Ooh, I haven't read it either, just when I thought Hannibal was about as creapy as it gets...Then Tsavo changes faces...Yikes...Jason is looking back at me!!!!

Ohhh...Bernita, I never looked at Ric THAT way...That's good! See what I mean!

Just when you think it's safe...(Que the music from JAWS) ROFLMAO!!!

Ha..fodder for the blog!

Ric said...

Sharpen pitchfork?
It's all your fault. You went and put CLIMAX in the title of your post and I got all confused.

Wifey, Hubby, the old Lady, the old Man, I think you could go either way with this. Dumb Blonde Jokes, Couch Potato,

Stereotyping is the shortcut some writers take - instead of using their skill with words to say it right.

And both sexes are guilty of it.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

ROFLMAO.....Ric, you are too funnyQ

Bernita...see what word cunfused him!!! This is giving me way too many ideas for posts!!!ROFLMAO...

Oh, before I get off point again...Yes, Bernita, I did put that joke up, but I didn't write it. I just love hunting up good humor!

Bernita said...

~ crossing arms~
Sniff.
Ric, you traducer, you misrepresented
What I Said.
On your blog.
And then you say it's All My Fault.
~ tossing head~
Sniff.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Psst...Bernita...it's a male thing...ROFLMAO!!!

Ric said...

Twice in two days you have sent me to my Websters, Bernita.

Pout all you want. You're still winning.

Bernita said...

You two are such dears.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Psst...Bernita, go check out Goody's post for Jan 3rd: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/jamesgoodman/


Snort, snort, chortle, ROFLMAO!!!!

Bonnie Calhoun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bonnie Calhoun said...

Sorry I was laughing so hard I hit it twice! LOL