The end of a book is the end of the story – except in the case of sequels, prequels, spin-offs… If none of those happen, do you ever wonder what happens to the characters in a book you’ve read after the story ends?
I don’t like endings. Reading a book to the end, watchinig the last episode of a TV show, playing through a game… I don’t like endings so I tend to slow down when I’m getting closer to the end. I easily relate to and start caring about the characters, and I don’t like reaching the end. This is why I love sequels, although they also make it harder to let go in the end. I like diving into new worlds and new adventures, but the more time I spent in them, the less I like to let them go. But there’s a limit on how long you can stretch a story before it falls apart.
To me it seems book sequels are always much better received than sequels for movies, even when the story in the book seems finished already. Movie sequels, on the other hand, tend to get critizised, quite heavily even. Have you noticed this too or have I just not been paying enough attention?
Perhaps movies feel more final? With the end credits and dramatic music, maybe people don’t even think about the possibility of there being a sequel. Movies are also short compared to books, so it could be they don’t give people enough time to bond with the characters and care about what happens to them afterwards. And of course there’s the matter of budget: with a book you can recruit a whole new array of characters and take them across the world with only your words, while movie producers have to pay to make it all appear on screen. Still, before the movie is even out, there can be a whole lot of complaining about the movie ruining a story that shouldn’t be continued.
But it’s not always the original creator (be it book or movie or game or whatever) who continues the story. To extend the first question, do you ever wonder about what happens after The End enough to create your own vision of it? Basically, fanfiction. What do you think about writing it? Is it good, is it bad, is it just another style of writing? I’ve heard some people say fanfiction is a great way to learn to write, while some people completely bash it. Some authors actually forbid it, which I find odd. Whenever you publish something, you should understand that others are going to see it and possibly be affected by it. Fanfiction, fanart, fan-anything is a sign you’ve made an impact on someone.
Most of the time it’s harmless and written without any goals of making money, but what about books like the 50 Shades of Grey that started out as a Twilight fanfiction? Does it count when the borrowed characters are missing the distinctive features (being a vampire for example) they had in the original piece?
Then there are parodies and all the like that aren’t quite fanfiction, but they’re still works that have been created based on something else. Maybe they’re more acceptable because their point is to make fun of something and it’s obvious it’s not the real deal.
But what do you think? Do you prefer series over stand-alone books? Do you read a story to the end and then just move on to the next one? So should the end really be The End? I got a bit off track here so perhaps I’ll do another post later, but I’d still like to hear your thoughts!