Wednesday, May 23, 2012
by Annette Cole Mastron
Have you ever been hooked by a book, entranced with the plots and sub plots, complete with unsuspecting twist and turns? The kind of book you stay up past your bedtime into the wee hours of the night to finish. An author's dream, readers who stay up to finish a book you wrote. Yippee! But then you reach the last page, and the story doesn't end. Sleep deprived and left hanging (with no possibility of a sequel) you suddenly want to throw the book across the room and scream, "Seriously, are you kidding me?" The wonderfully woven story is left unfinished as if the author reached the max of words and was told, wrap it up.
That's what happened to me with one of my pre-summer reads this week. This well-known Southern writer has a long history of NYT best sellers; many I had read and loved. In reflection, I suspect this particular book with its many issues was more of a personal memoir. Possibly the reason the author left the stories unfinished is because there is no ending to the author's life stories. What may just be an author's airing of their life stories as fictional when it is really more auto-biographical is translated into frustration for the reader.
Note to self, don't write a book and leave all the woven stories unfinished for my audience. I'm not asking for a neat package-type fairytale ending; messy is fine, just complete the stories introduced. As a reader I want and deserve a finished tale. Okay, authors time to take the vow, are your pinkies raised? “I promise to always finish the stories I start with a plausible definitive ending.”
Authors are you with me?