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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hunger Games--The opposite of Lord of the Rings

I haven't received any suggestions for great endings, and I'm finding it easier to think of the ones that left me flat myself. Perhaps it is true that we can learn more from other people's mistakes than we ever realize.

The response to yesterday's post has emboldened me. Today I'm going to air my disappointment with the final chapter of the Hunger Games.

First, Suzanne Collins is one of the writers that made me cry in shame. She's brilliant with the way she handles scene and chapter breaks. Her descriptions draw you in and rip at your emotions.When I read the Hunger Games I knew I should give up writing and never try again because I would never be as good as her.

However, whereas Tolkien dragged out his ending, I felt Collins rushed the end of Mockingjay. After investing so much of my time and emotions in the lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, et al, I needed more closure than we were given. Sure the wrap up was there, but none of the details I craved.

It felt like Collins got tired, or someone told her she could only have five more pages to wrap everything up. (Yes, I know I'm sort of contradicting my thoughts from yesterday).

The point(s) I'm trying to make this week is this:
  • There is a fine line between a great ending and a "meh" ending.
  • The ending is JUST as important as the beginning, maybe more so because it's the last thing the reader reads.
If you have an ending you would like to discuss this week, please email me at unicornbellsubmissions.blogspot.com with "Endings" in the subject line.

14 comments:

Amber said...

After I read hunger games I knew I needed to go back and add to my ending. I was so disapointed with how quickly it ended after I invested myself and read all three books just to know how their lives turned out. I rushed through my ending, eager to finally get it out.

Hunger games was so good, but the last chapter just pissed me off.

Alicia C. said...

Gah!I was JUST going to e-mail you Hunger games. Wench. Anyway. My issue with the Hunger Games was kinda a whole series issue. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the books. But this is what happened for me...and I think this happens a lot for writers that do trilogies (Not Patrick Rothfuss). The first book is really tight. Great story. Great character development. Sucks you in. Awesome. I devoured it. Second book. Wandered. It was like she suddenly wanted to Take Over the World! *dun dun DUNNNNN!* Really got lost with the mammoth plot stuff that she was "wanting" to develop. And then I think she realized what she was doing... Cause in Book 3 it all just POOF! Went away and every thing was fine. Tied Up. Blah. Which with a dystopian was so hard for me to even try to swallow. I mean, yah, kids died...but that was the whole plot point. The whole hook. You accepted it. You wanted to see the messiness of them having to rebuild. I don't know. argh. I know. It's YA. But. BUT!

Huntress said...

**Spoilers**

My daughter hated the ending of Mockingjay so much that she wrote the final chapter to suit herself. And she isn't a writer.

The ending hurt but at the same time made sense. Katniss was never going to be the same after the Games and rebellion. Collins expressed this in the last chapter by showing us how injured Katniss was and always would be.

I was okay with it after I sulked for a while.

Huntress said...

AGREED!

Charity Bradford said...

At least it inspired you to revisit your ending. Good for you!

And yes, I think I was right there with you--pissed and angry. I felt cheated.

Charity Bradford said...

LOL. Perfect wrap up of the series. My girls just finished it and they were both upset by the ending, but they couldn't articulate why. Give them time and they'll figure it out.

I will give Collins this--I thought about this book and the implications of such a life for a long time after I read the series.

Charity Bradford said...

This is so true. I read the last chapter again last night. Collins did a great job showing how messed up Katniss was. The part that bugged me the most is how she just let Peeta show up and he's mostly fine. I think we got one line about how sometimes scenes would flash in his head.

He was messed up and I wanted to know how he "overcame" all that brainwashing. How did they learn to trust each other enough to be together. Why didn't we get to see that first kiss of accepting this is who they are alone and together and that it was what both of them wanted? And on and on.

mshatch said...

Having never read the books I can't comment but I do like a decent resolution. Speaking of ones I didn't care for...(don't shoot me) is HP. Now before you boo and hiss let me just say I adore JK, I think the books were completely and utterly brilliant in a way very few books are and the way she worked all seven (YES SEVEN!!!) books together flawlessly -imo- was effing brilliant. However, the ending could've been shorter. Just show me Harry and Ginny getting together, the dark lord defeated, and I'm good. I didn't need to know how they turned out and how many kids they had and blah blah blah. Which I suppose is funny in light of the fact that that's exactly what Tolkien did and for some reason I liked it. Which just goes to show you we readers are fickle lot :)

Charity Bradford said...

I'll agree that the epilogue or whatever was kind of weird. The only thing I really liked about it was when Harry told Albus Severus about his name when he was concerned about getting sorted into Slytherin.

The rest kind of stole the thunder from the ending I think.

Rebecca Belliston said...

Hunger Games is the one time I wished the book wasn't so realistic. Katniss was messed up, but I didn't want to end with her so scarred. I think part of the problem was also that she, the POV and thus the reader, was out of it for a major portion of the climax. That sucked the life out of the ending for me. That, for me, was where the book went wrong.

Charity Bradford said...

I didn't even think of that, but I bet that is what the real problem was. Great insight!

Marsha Sigman said...

I think we all wanted that happy wrap up for Katniss but it would not have been realistic and that's just not who she was. I was a little depressed but I don't question Suzanne C's brilliance.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I haven't read the HUNGER GAMES YET... but I will and I will probably feel the same way. I have heard MANY upset readers when MOCKINGJAY was released.

Ending are SOOOO important. NEVER give up on writing. No matter how wonderful the author is, WE ALL have our talents and messages we want to convey to our readers. Writing is an ever-evolving craft and we need to stick to it to grow with our raw talents.

I hope to read the series soon. I did see the movie against my better judgement because I wanted to read the book first, but I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED ... The movie was amazing and I need to get that first book!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I haven't read the HUNGER GAMES YET... but I will and I will probably feel the same way. I have heard MANY upset readers when MOCKINGJAY was released.

Ending are SOOOO important. NEVER give up on writing. No matter how wonderful the author is, WE ALL have our talents and messages we want to convey to our readers. Writing is an ever-evolving craft and we need to stick to it to grow with our raw talents.

I hope to read the series soon. I did see the movie against my better judgement because I wanted to read the book first, but I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED ... The movie was amazing and I need to get that first book!