Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Short Stories & Open Endings

About a month ago some one left a review on one of my short stories. That review, while appreciated, got me thinking about something ... something super interesting.

You see, at my core I am very much an intellectual. Suffice it to say that sometimes the smallest comments gets my mind running.

Today, I want to share the story, the review and my thoughts.

bronze_beaded_divider___design_png_by_jssanda-d6arclnThe Short Story was "Ryan", one that I wrote a couple of years ago and is free to the public at all times.

RyanMinnie has an enormous crush on Ryan. Everything about him makes her skin tingle. Without being able to control it, she finds herself daydreaming about him every single day.
What she would do to him if he were her's!

bronze_beaded_divider___design_png_by_jssanda-d6arclnThe review said, and I quote, "Well written, but I was left with a strong feeling of something unfinished."

Now, while I appreciate the review, what apparently this reader did not understand was that the open ending to this story was on purpose.

Open EndingsIt seems to me that there are far too many people that have extracted the fun out of reading open ended short stories.

I think that far too many authors/readers are trying to turn short stories into full length novels, and vise versa.

What ever happened to just enjoying the story, and then using your imagination to consider what could have happened next?

In my own humble opinion the best part about reading an open ended short story is being able to use your imagination in order to reflect on what might've happened next.

Whats-next-bannerDid the relationship work out?

Did it not?

Did something else happen altogether?

Well, it doesn't matter. The choice is yours!

I feel like too many authors feel pressured by readers such as this and then believe that they have to extend on the work and/or write a sequel. THIS is precisely where the industry has gone array.

Why? Because, perhaps there wasn't anything else to tell. Maybe, just maybe, the author left the ending open on purpose and adding to the story would only hinder the overall effect of it.

Here are the things that I think about:

  1. Is using your imagination no longer permitted?

  2. Why do people feel pressure to "seal the deal" if you will, when the best aspect of an open ended short story is the ability to formulate your own ending?

  3. Has the market changes so profusely that now having an open ended story merits a deduction in points?

  4. Does creativity count for nothing anymore?

I wasn't necessarily upset by the review. As a matter of fact, I was grateful for it. I mean, the person did say that the writing was good. That counts for something. However, to be deducted 2 points because the reader did not understand that the entire point of the story was to leave the ending open, sort of made me wonder.

Well, I don't know. Maybe it's just a "Me" thing. I'm always pondering the complexities of certain things.

Needless to say, all of this brought to mind the short story that I wrote for "Crackles of the Heart: Divergent Ink". That is also an open ended short story. Does this mean that readers will deduct points and/or lower the rating because they cannot understand that the open ending was done on purpose?

I dunno. This is a sad truth to confront. I keep wondering ... where has the use of the human imagination gone?

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