S.G. Browne

Hollywood Endings Not Served Here

I don’t deal in happy endings or plots that don’t leave anything unresolved. The best you’re going to get from me is an ambiguous final chapter with the ultimate outcome for the main character yet to be decided. Possibly in a sequel but not necessarily. And even if there is a sequel, the ending of that one is probably going to leave some loose strings.

So if you like your endings wrapped up in a nice tidy package with a big shiny bow, then you’re probably better off watching a Hollywood movie.

But life isn’t like a Hollywood movie. Things are always left unresolved, and my novels echo that. I realize a lot of people read books and watch movies so that they can escape from reality and have the satisfaction of coming away feeling like someone rose above their circumstances. It gives us hope in our own lives that maybe it can happen to us, too.

The guy gets the girl.
The heroine overcomes her fear.
The underdog saves the day.

The truth is, things don’t always work out the way we want them to.

You don’t find Prince Charming.
You don’t overcome your fears.
You don’t realize your dreams.

And that’s what I like to write about. How things don’t always work out. Or how they might work out in one fashion, but ultimately the ending isn’t what the main character had hoped for. So if you’re picking up one of my books expecting a Hollywood ending, then you’re probably not going to get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.

With apologies to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones.

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Filed under: Breathers,Fated,Lucky Bastard,The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 7:57 pm

1 Comment »

  1. It’s the only real way to end a story. Ambiguity is a fickle bitch. It will either leave the people thinking on their own about the characters and that universe, trying to decide of their own fruition what could possibly have happened, and ultimately coming to their own conclusion. On the other hand, if the people are CHUDs and the only movies they’ve ever seen have Walt Disney’s name attached to them (back when he was still alive and not just a frozen head) or the majority of the books they’ve read have come from the children’s section of their local library, that kind of ending might completely ravage their brain, filling their head with scary “brain movies” that border on free thought.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is an ax wielding maniac chasing me through some catacombs. What’ll happen to me? That’s up to you to decide.

    Comment by Andrew S. Lee — May 18, 2012 @ 7:43 am

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