I’ve been thinking about songs that I don’t want to end and stories as well. Previously I posted a few examples. The layers build and build. They pile on to what has come before in order to fool you into thinking they will continue building indefinitely; that’s the aesthetic.
So when they do end there is a subconscious feeling of loss. All that building was suddenly snatched away, and the only way to retrieve it is to play the song again.
Here are others.
Authors try this approach too, and they often end up with book series rather than single standalone novels. Sometimes it works but mostly not (for me). I’m more prone to watch the film version anyway (the shame!), but sequels hardly ever live up to the promise or to the hype.
I suppose the second Hunger Games film was better than the first. By the fourth, however, the sails drooped. We were glad that one ended, whereas originally we had craved more. I think that particular cow was milked to death. Perhaps the book ended better.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is another example where the first two films really built toward a magnificent showdown, whereas the last one had its flaws.
The Empire Strikes Back was deeper and even more engrossing than the first film, but by the third we had seen it before. Despite throwing more space battles, brats, teddy bears, and kissing at the problem, the Return of the Jedi was a disappointment.
Perhaps it’s the journey, not the destination. Ending the story is fraught with many hazards, perhaps the hardest part of all. The beginning brings the promise of a journey, and the exploration of characters.
An ending must point to a future that the reader can imagine for him/herself. Is there room enough to continue building? Has the author passed he story along to others so that they will continue it, having internalized the questions and the struggles?
Gilding the Allegory (Free)