I have mixed feelings about a reading a story that ends too soon. Sometimes it makes sense to leave the reader questioning (such as the end of Great Gatsby — in these situations it works). However, sometimes I just want to see more. The example that comes to mind is Jeffery Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. It’s a crazy, eventful, emotional whirlwind of a book, but after the unfortunate and mysterious events in the end, I would have liked to see how the city reacted further on. (Appropriately, the city is Grosse Point, MI approximately 30 minutes away from here).
What do my observations and mixed feelings tell me about myself as a writer?
When I read, I look for completeness. In the case of The Virgin Suicides, I think it just leaves me feeling sad rather than curious.
So therefore when I write, I emphasize the cumulative, complete process. An inspiring and intriguing beginning and middle don’t matter if the end doesn’t leave an everlasting effect on my reader. In other words, I want to leave my reader perfectly balanced between curious and ready for an ending. It’s tough to balance, and it seems like a small and meticulous detail — but it’s important! After all, the end chance I have to have my reader remember me! My behavior as a writer implies emphasis on the value of leaving an everlasting effect.