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25 June 2011 @ 04:15 pm
Most Satisfying Endings  
What are your favorite endings to FK episodes?  (Or FK fanfiction.)  What about them satisfies you?  In general, I'm looking not for 'shippy scenerios that satisfy very straightforwardly by uniting favored characters, but rather endings that offer other (or added) compensations.

I heard Henning Mankell, the author of the "Wallander" mysteries, interviewed on an NPR program this past week.  He made some far-reaching claims about the essential nature of the creative process that many would dispute, but one happened to be true for me as for him.  He said that he always knew the endings of his stories before he began writing them, that he could not get anywhere without knowing the ending; it was like wandering around without a map.  Elements may be discovered along the way, of course, but without a known destination, he can't well begin.

I work like that, too.  I need to know a story's heading.  My ancient December 1998 FK novel "Fireweed" could have been '96 vintage, except that I forgot what the ending was supposed to be, and had to drop it in the middle; I couldn't pick it up again until a conversation triggered my memory of the planned endgame.  I'm presently feeling a bit of that wading-through-mire with my 2011 [community profile] fkficfest/fkficfest story in somewhat the same way, as I did on my most recent oldschoolfic story, and I diagnose myself as mapless.  I need to spot the ending.

What endings "pay off" best?  How, or why?

Comments on Dreamwidth:
greerwatsongreerwatson on June 26th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
"a bit of the wading-through-quicksand...."

Oh, yeah.
Amy R.: Winterbrightknightie on June 26th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
I would like to retract the quicksand analogy, if I may, and substitute "mire." I was thinking of the mild real phenomenon, but the Hollywood exaggeration might instead come to mind, and that would be unfair to the perfectly nice prompt I received, when it was really a reflection on myself!

Do you happen to have any thoughts on endings?
greerwatsongreerwatson on June 28th, 2011 07:54 am (UTC)
"Do you happen to have any thoughts on endings?"

This is going to be pretty disorganized, and not necessarily about Forever Knight. However, you may glean something from it....

Endings come after. This may seem incredibly obvious; but you do sometimes encounter stories in which there is no "after". The plot climaxes and then...THE END. This is right and proper if you're O. Henry doing the "twist", since that's the whole point of the thing. If, on the other hand, you've written a plot-driven, character-heavy long story of substance—not a novel, necessarily, but something with a fair level of complexity—then you need not only climax but also anticlimax.

I don't know if you're familiar with the works of Diana Wynne Jones. I love her books, though to varying degrees (since they differ so much that one is bound to have favourites); nevertheless, quite a lot of them have curiously unsatisfactory endings. I have come to the conclusion that this is because, all too often, she finishes her plot—and does so resoundingly—and promptly stops the story. One wants more. Not more plot, nor even necessarily the tying of loose ends (though ones that flap in your face are certainly irritating), nor—and readers of the Anita Blake series will know what I'm thinking of here—the sort of list of what-people-do-next that is supposed to answer all our questions about the immediate future. (Yes, I know that one popular form of fan fiction is the follow-up; and I think Laurell K. Hamilton is catering to that desire.)

What I like is a bit of chit-chat. Back at the station, at Nick's apartment, that sort of thing. The human interaction. Maybe I've been spoiled by episodic television, since the Epilogue, Coda, or Tag is pretty well de rigueur. Quite a lot of Forever Knight episodes end with some such byplay.

Having said that, there are always exceptions. waltd mentioned "Avenging Angel": that simply ended with the missing piece of the puzzle. However the direction/editing made the whole thing stunning—and, of course, we'd got invested in the character. Character, in fact, is what I like to see in the ending. (Usually, though, this means the principals in the series, not the guest star of the episode.)

When, then, is character not enough? Well, I would say that this happens when the episode itself is badly constructed. Typically, that means that there are loose threads dangling so obviously that, when the writer fails to tack them up, you're annoyed. (Having said that, though, if you have too many danging threads, then your coda becomes nothing more than an exercise in darning holes. And that's no joy!)

So, first off, you need to have a well-constructed episode in which there are relatively few plot holes, and dangling threads are nicely tied up in or around the climax. In the ending, you can then focus on character, the odd lingering dangle, and a thematic connection or two.
Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on July 1st, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing all these reflections. I am still challenged to produce this story, and it does help a little to engage on the process.

I've learned that I asked my question poorly, as I was not thinking primarily about tags. Rather, I was thinking mostly about how the plot and theme come together (or fail to come together) at the point before the final break and tag, defining that as the "ending." (After that, ideally, the tag reflects back on that convergence -- but no prior resolution means no proper place for a tag to perch. ~shrug~)

No, I'm not very familiar with Diana Wynne Jones. She has had short stories in several anthologies I've read, but I've never yet followed her back to her own books, as far as I remember. I don't read Laurell K. Hamilton, either -- really, I don't generally read vampire stories. I don't like vampires. :-) I like historical fiction, moral struggles and metaphors, and they just seem to turn up in the vicinity of vampires. :-)

Again, thanks!
Foxy11814foxy11814 on June 26th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
I probably don't have much to help you when it comes to endings, even though I will get to that in a moment, but this discussion reminds me of an interview I saw with one of the Lost creators/writers. He said when it comes to movies, he always has the ending in sight and stays true to it, but when it comes to television shows, it's not the same. He said he and the other writers may have a general idea of what the end will be, but it's never concrete. As the series progresses they start listening to the audience and their thoughts, especially from the internet. Sometimes what they learn from fans changes and leads the show. He gave the scenario of fans making connections to events in their series and in actual history that they didn't even realize they did and they would take that information and incorporate it into their show. He said it allowed their work on television to be more exciting and that it showed him how intelligent the mass audience really is. He said it was an adventure that he worked his way through.

I'm the same. Sometimes I do have a sure-fire ending in sight and work my way towards it, but other times, I just write and let it come to me. I do both. My story for fkficfest this year has a definite ending already planned but all the in-between is up in the air, LOL. But on the other hand, some of my best stories in other fandoms have been a series of stories that I had no idea where it would end up. They tend to get the most reviews and have requests to write more years later. And, like with the Lost writer, it might be due to the fact that if you post it in parts, you can read what others think, and even if you try to remain objective, what they think will more than likely affect your story in some way when you write the next piece. (I know it's kinda OT, but I wanted to share, LOL, since it reminded your entry reminded me of it.)

As for endings, I think I prefer the ones that have some kind of moral or meaning to the whole episode. I don't mean that to sound so cliched and lame, because I know I'm not describing it too well. I simply enjoy episodes that having endings like "Killer Instinct." This particular episode is pretty dramatic, and in the end, it literally states it's all about learning that friends make life worth living despite the fact that we could blink and they could all be gone...except in Nick's case that's a little more literal, LOL. I don't know. I just always like endings that ties up a central message that the show or fic is trying to portray.

Is that any help at all? LOL
Amy R.: Castbrightknightie on June 26th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Serial storytelling is definitely different from storytelling in discrete units. Obviously, this is not only a contemporary phenomenon -- Dickens wrote successfully in installments; Eliot stumbled when she tried it -- but nevertheless FK came from an era where serial storytelling was sternly frowned on in television (especially syndicated television).

I never watched Lost, but I hope that its writers tried to make individual episodes coherent units unto themselves, even while the larger story arc was allowed to evolve over time. It's too bad when serial storytelling becomes an excuse for sloppy beginnings and endings on individual story units (whether they're TV episodes, or comic book issues, or novels in a series).

I also like endings that exemplify the theme of the episode/issue/story! However, I'd never thought of "Killer Instinct" as doing that before; that's something interesting to chew over. To me, the end of "Killer Instinct" always seemed slightly alien to the rest of the episode, as if it came out of nowhere. It is true that Schanke and Natalie -- and Janette -- are working on Nick's side throughout. I suspect that what I wanted from "Killer Instinct" that I didn't get, which left me feeling the ending was somehow inadequate, was an explanation of where the serial killer was supposed to parallel the rest of the story; usually, the bad guy's experience is like or unlike Nick's in some way that illuminates a theme... I've never really been able to tease that out of KI. Perhaps I should revisit it, with that goal in mind.

Thank you for everything to think about! I hope that one of the thoughts will bump into another and an ending will spring forth fully formed. ;-) I have a cop plot, but without the payoff -- the motivations, the theme -- I'm not making progress. :-)
Foxy11814foxy11814 on June 26th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
I've never thought about it the way you do, either, LOL, but I see where you're coming from. "Killer Instinct" is different because it doesn't focus on the "bad guy" at all or give any explanation of how it ties into Nick's past or current dilemmas, etc. The killer is irrelevant to the whole episode really--a plot device to keep the story going. I thought the whole story was very much about Nick handling an awful situation with a lot of pressure that many people would crumble under, BUT he had friends that pulled him through, which Cohen recognized at the end. I suppose that's why a parallel with the killer wasn't missed by me, personally. *shrugs* It's funny that we got into this discussion, because I just thought of an episode and a message I received out of it and stated it, LOL. "Killer Instinct" is nowhere near my favorite episode, but I do like it.

In any case, I agree with you that it is sad if writers use serial storytelling as an excuse for not telling good individual stories. I wasn't big on Lost, but yes, they strove to allow the episodes to fit individually, but I was discussing from the whole series as one whole story standpoint, LOL.

And, as for your story, I have no doubt you'll figure it out!
Amy R.: Trio Fang Gangbrightknightie on June 27th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Yes, "Killer Instinct" is less like any other episode than perhaps "Black Buddha," first in utilitarian ways to re-establish the cast and setting for a much-changed season, but second in the villain existing so meaninglessly, so to speak. However, in BlBu, that very meaninglessness is supposed to become meaningful, part of the inscrutability of evil that Reese sometimes talks about at the water cooler... It occurs to me the making evil inscrutable was part of the downfall of third season. In first season, especially, but also still in second, Nick personally understands evil, and so can fight it successfully. In third season, evil is perhaps empowered by its inscrutability.

One of the interesting trends emerging from the various examples people have shared is that "good endings" are most likely to be remembered for 1) changing the course of canon in a way the audience likes, and 2) defining/exemplifying interpersonal relationships in the way the audience likes. "Good endings" do not, on the other hand, seem to be remembered for neatly tying up all the loose ends ;-) or any other structural consideration.

In the FK context, this might perhaps express itself as tying up the plot before the final commercial, and then commenting on the themes in the tag...
Foxy11814foxy11814 on June 27th, 2011 02:14 am (UTC)
I think you're right. When judging "good endings," a lot of people tend to enjoy it more if the ending somehow ties into their own particular faction or desires for the future of certain characters. After all, that's why we usually have faction favorite episodes, like "Be My Valentine" for the Nick&NatPackers or "Father's Day" for Cousins, and so forth. =)
skieswideopen: FK: Janette smilingskieswideopen on June 26th, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
I'm the same--I need to know the ending in order to write. Otherwise, I start but don't finish. (I've written very short fic without knowing the ending, but that's it.) With longer stories, I usually outline the whole thing. I don't always stick to it all the way through, but it helps me to know what scene is coming next.
Amy R.: Janettebrightknightie on June 26th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
Do you happen to have any method for finding your endings? :-)
skieswideopen: FK: Nick & Janetteskieswideopen on June 27th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Sadly, no. Brainstorming on paper sometimes works. Taking a walk sometimes works. Sometimes the ending comes to me with the idea. But there's no reliable method. I just have to keep struggling until I figure it out.
Amy R.: IBbrightknightie on July 1st, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
Me, too. :-) Thanks for sharing your approaches!
PJ1228pj1228 on June 26th, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
I like endings that are a reflection of the whole story. This can very well be achieved by a Nightcrawler monologue, which always makes for a good ending in my opinion. I also like endings that give the entire story an unexpected twist or contain a relevation from a new angle.

Endings I rather not prefer are cliffhangers (except when there will definitely be a sequel that resolves the cliffhanger) although they make good suspence on occasion.

I started several of my stories with the final scene and worked myself backwards. But I also start sometimes somewhere in the middle and also in the beginning. However, I most rarely write a story straight from beginning to end. That's why I could never write a story in several parts because I always go back and add a scene here or there.

My favourite episode endings are "Sons of Belial" (the dark turn), "False Witness" (the light banter around the popcorn scene), "Crazy Love" (Nick's rendez-vous with Janette) and several more which have currently slipped my mind. I'll think more about this later on the train and get back to you.

PJ1228pj1228 on June 27th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
I promised to point out more episode endings that I find satisfying. Here they are:
- 1966: Lily's phone call shows nicely that Nick's involvement in the past still has an impact on the present and gives cause for eternal gratitude
- Love you to Death: Nick's explanation kind of reflects the entire first season and tells us why he stopped killing. The last scene is of course a satisfying feast for all Cousins. ;)
- A Fate worse than Death: Nick's "We either escape or die trying" is a nice reflection of the entire episode.
- Forward into the Past: I like it when Nick pulls out his half of the photo. It's so nice that he has it handy considering how many incarnations and moves lay inbetween.
- Partners of the Month: Nick corrects his selfish behaviour from the past and returns the painting.
- Blood Money: I guess I like any ending that shows Nick & Janette engaged in a kiss.
- Night in Question: Nick goes to Lacroix for help with his memory blanks. Very satisfying ending from a cousin's POV. :)
- Ashes to Ashes: Another nice Nick&Lacroix ending.
Amy R.: IBbrightknightie on July 1st, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
>"Partners of the Month: Nick corrects his selfish behaviour from the past and returns the painting."

How interesting that Nick's behavior strikes you as selfish! I usually interpret Janette's as the appalling behavior there; taking back a gift is very rude.
PJ1228pj1228 on July 2nd, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
I realized that it was actually a gift for Nick the moment I had hit the "send"-button. LOL I perfectly agree with your assessemnt of the scene.
Amy R.: Kidsbrightknightie on July 1st, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
When so many people replied to my question about favorite "endings" with their favorite tag scenes, I mentally slapped my forehead in belated enlightenment. Of course tags=endings in FK! Actually, though, I was thinking of the story part before the tag scene, the way that the plot and theme come together, not so much the way that the tag, after the fact, comments on the way that the plot and theme came together. Ah, well. :-) It's been a lot of fun learning how tags reach everyone, too!

>"That's why I could never write a story in several parts because I always go back and add a scene here or there."

Yes. I think that completing each story as a unit unto itself is important, and I worry that fandom does not value this craftsmanship as it used to. Of course serial storytelling can be amazing, but each installment in a series ought properly be a structured, integrated, finished unit unto itself.
PJ1228pj1228 on July 2nd, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
>Actually, though, I was thinking of the story part before the tag scene, the way that the plot and theme come together<

Oh, well, in that case, one of my favourite endings is in "Father's Day" when it's Lacroix who comes up with the perfect solution of the problem.

Another examples is "Fever".
Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on July 5th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
So the reason that you like those is because Lacroix, specifically, is key in resolving the issues? It seems that almost everyone shares this with you; they're in it for their personal favorite characters, not for storytelling elements.

Much like being an old-fashioned Knightie and a gen fan, it's a bit lonely being the kind of audience who gets excited about structure and theme. No one else plays my games. ;-)
PJ1228pj1228 on July 5th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I think, now I get what your initial question was about.
Let me see if I can come up with an adequate answer. The usual structure of an FK episode goes like this: murder - Nick and partner go to investigate - Nick has flashback to something that is related to the case or a parallel situation - Nick uses his experience from the flashback to solve the case - Nick rushes off to save the day (or rather night) and catches the murderer.

This is the usual structure and I like it when Nick is the hero. The 2 episodes I mentioned earlier (Father's Day, Fever) provide a welcome break to this structure. The fact that Lacroix is pivotal in resolving the issues is a secondary special treat for all cousins.

There are also episodes in which Schanke resolves the issue (Partners of the Months, Amateur Night). While "Partners of the Months" is one of my favourite episodes, and the end shows a great chraracter trait of Nick when he lets Schanke be the hero, I find "Amateur Night" to be less satisfying. Although I love Schanke, I prefer the episodes in which Nick is the hero. Does this make any sense?

To return to the original structure, I always enjoy when the flashback mirrors the present tense plot and Nick can draw on his experience when he decides on his way of action. It would be most satisfying if his actions in the present then differ from his actions in the past, showing that he had learned something and doesn't make a mistake that he made perhaps in the flashback.

Does this answer your question?
PJ1228pj1228 on July 2nd, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
>Of course serial storytelling can be amazing, but each installment in a series ought properly be a structured, integrated, finished unit unto itself.<

The stories I wrote that comprise a series (the DarkNN series and the UF-Evidence-series) are all complete stories in themselves. By the time I had completed one story, I hadn't intended to make it a series. That happened when the ideas still kept coming. Every new installment was meant to be the final, but somehow it continued until I had a series of 10 installments in the evidence-series. And then I twisted that into a Val-series with two installments so far where the final is still in the works.
Athelas K. Weedmalinaldarose on June 26th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
I don't have much to say on specific endings, and I realized, as I read through the comments, that I often start a story without knowing where it's going to go. I think my writing also depends, in part, on whether I'm writing original fiction or fan fic. Obviously, with fan fic, unless you're writing an AU, you need to keep certain things in mind and try not to break the place at the end.

I'm a huge fan of happy endings, possibly because most of the things I read as a kid ended "and they lived happily ever after."

Oh, and I hate it when the characters forget everything at the end.
PJ1228pj1228 on June 26th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
>I'm a huge fan of happy endings, possibly because most of the things I read as a kid ended "and they lived happily ever after."<

I also enjoy happy endings for the same reasons. :) However, in FK, the definition of Happy Ending varies in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure some would consider mortal Nick and Nat happily together a happy ending. I would consider this a catastrophe. ;) Instead I would consider Nick giving up his search for a cure a happy ending. :)

Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on June 26th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
Actually, I think that for analyzing the mechanics of endings, we can (to some extent) profitably disregard factional leanings. In the case of those specific examples -- N&Ner happiness or Dark Knightie happiness -- both are the same kind of ending. They have the same scope: both reconfigure the FK universe, fundamentally changing it. "After this, nothing is the same." Neither of those examples is the kind of ending that stays within the bounds of its own episode/story unit.

"Dying For Fame" might be a good example of a happy ending within the bounds of the single story unit.

Interestingly, very few people have mentioned structural considerations -- answering all the questions, resolving all the threads, recapitulating earlier elements -- as something that influences their satisfaction with endings.
Athelas K. Weedmalinaldarose on June 27th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
That's true enough. I'm not certain what I would consider the happiest of FK endings. I suppose I would be pleased to see Nick and Nat together in whatever way it worked out.
Amy R.: Natalie Againbrightknightie on June 26th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
I also detest amnesia as a way of voiding a storyline (except in the extreme case of The Season That Didn't Happen on Angel -- that was really a most extraordinarily awful season, and there was little else to be done about the sheer reach of its mistakes). Amnesia endings violate the character, discarding all her struggles, and disrespect the audience, discarding our investment. They're even worse than it-was-all-a-dream endings. Bleah!

Happy endings come in many shapes and sizes. When it comes to FK episodes and fanfiction, are your favorites the happy that fits inside an episode's/story's boundaries, or the happy that reconfigures the entire series/universe to new borders?

I'm curious, but I'm also just trying to get my imagination to turn over and cough up an ending for my story. ;-)
waltdwaltd on June 27th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Satisfactory endings

The problem here (for me) is that I see three different things going on as to whether an episode is "satisfactory"; namely: 1/ a good story, 2/ good writing, and 3/ a good ending. Often you get two out of three.
I'd be willing to sacrifice 3 for 1 and 2.
I liked "Father Figure", I thought it was a decent story, fairly well told, but the ending left us hanging as to what happened to Daniel.
I think the ending of "Last Knight" was a good one 'cause it left things ambiguous (we didn't see Nick get staked, we don't know that Natalie lost too much blood, etc.). On the other hand, I hated the story and the story telling seemed to be more clips than anything else.
Most of the stories were pretty good. I liked "For I Have Sinned". Things seemed to have been well wrapped by the end, and the story and its telling were good. "The Fix is another favorite; I think it had 1, 2, and 3.
Or, take "Avenging Angel". I think the ending was tragic, but satisfactory in that it followed the theme. We don't always have to like an ending in order to appreciate it and let it have an impact.
I loved "My Boyfriend Is a Vampire". The ending resolved and tied things up. I didn't understand part of the story though – I thought Natalie's reasons for being angry with Nick weren't believable or valid, even if the ending tidied that up.
But, you could almost make these sorts of comments about any of the episodes. As someone else said, much depends on your personal preference.
waltdwaltd on June 27th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
End(ing?) Notes

I've written stories where I knew the ending (not often, but a couple of times).
I've written ones where I just started out and let the characters take the lead. These stories have ended up a far piece from where they started out.
Many times I just have a short scene that seems to fit into a larger story, and what it needs is a beginning and an ending. Or, I have a middle and need to add a beginning and work out an end.
Mostly, I have a very general outline: Here's a crime, here's what we know, people talk, complications arise, this has happened to Nick before ( i.e., the flashback) and finally we have an ending which has to fit the comments and the complications. If it doesn't, you've written yourself into a corner. So, if it doesn't hang together, you can re-write it, or you can try to write your way around it (which is more difficult but can be more fun – you can end up going places you never thought you would – which can be good).
Other times, a character will take over. "No, I will NOT do that Mr. Author; here's how it’s going to go." I'm not sure whether this is a quirk of writing, or signs of incipient schizophrenia. Or (more likely), you have a minor character that seems to start taking over a story – which, if filmed, would provide a great guest shot opportunity.
A number of mystery writers have said that they have an ending (who dun it and how) and that in writing their book, they work backwards filling in the details and plot lines as needed.
But, I think we all write so individually and idiosyncratically that each of us has different things that work. So, to each his/her own, and whatever works, go for it.
[Although, on the other hand, it can be a learning experience to try out a different plan just to see what happens. If you usually write to a specific end, try writing without one, just keep going for a few pages to see what develops. It may not be any good, but you may learn from the exercise.]
PJ1228pj1228 on June 27th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Re: End(ing?) Notes
> I'm not sure whether this is a quirk of writing, or signs of incipient schizophrenia.

LOL I sure hope it is the first and not the second because this happens to me quite often with Lacroix. I start a story in which he is supposed to have a marginal appearance and somehow he ends up being the driving force of the entire story. :)
Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on July 1st, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Re: End(ing?) Notes
I'm afraid that, for myself, I get nowhere writing if I do not have some idea of the purpose -- the theme, moral, payoff -- of a story. After much experience, I know that it ends up being a lot of work for no good product. Ah, well.

Thank you for sharing your perspective on endings and on writing!
Melissa: forever knight (nat) - broodinggnosticdiva on June 28th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Appropos of nothing, I can only talk about my own fic, as I've yet to read a fanfic ending that did not leave me either yearning for more (the good stuff) or wishing the damn thing would just finish already (the crap).*

In regards to my fic, I generally know how the story's gonna end and where to begin, but I struggle with getting from point A to point B, with the characters often fighting me on minor details. Sometimes, on the longer, more complex story ideas, I get so frustrated I have to get up and walk away from it for a bit.

Short character studies and PWPs I find to be effortless, however.

But, referring to your topic, I generally enjoy the "come down" of FK's ending style, where the characters talk about what they think and how the events affected them.

The loveliest canon NN-centric moments (as that's what I glom onto, me being me) are just them sitting and talking after the fact. Nothing flashy or dramatic, just a nice little chat between two more-than-close-friends-but-less-than-lovers (the codas of "Dead of Night" and "False Witness" immediately come to mind). That little piece of emotional nakedness and insight into their frame of mind.

LK's really the only ending that I truly, deeply dislike, for many reasons which I won't get into right now.

* Not to worry. I've definitely mentally filed you under "good stuff".
Amy R.: N&Nbrightknightie on July 1st, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
>"* Not to worry. I've definitely mentally filed you under "good stuff"."

~grin~ Thank you kindly. ~grin~

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on those tag scenes! I also like the mood of returning to ordinary life and reflecting on the previous action as a place to end, when feasible. It's part of the feel of dearly-loved FK canon. And while I have no interest, myself, in N&N romance, valuing instead their friendship, I do of course also enjoy the concluding conversations between Nick and Natalie, exploring themes and ramifications.

It's been very interesting reading everyone's takes on the concept of "favorite endings," and noticing that almost everyone goes straight to the tags. This is entirely natural in FK! I should have expected it! But in fact, wrapped up in my own head, I was thinking more of the way that the plot and theme, ideally, come together before the final break and the tag. The tag then reflects back on that convergence. It's easy as pie to write a tag once there's an ending on which to reflect. Endings, though: they challenge me!
Melissa: angie - sitting thinkinggnosticdiva on July 1st, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
I look at the tags as similar to the final note of a musical piece. A song truly isn't over until that final chord is struck, and is followed by a moment of silence for the listener's reflection and considering the feelings the piece evoked.

But, in terms of resolving the plot, my preferences are very character-driven (even among the adult stories!). I find virtually any lengthy piece enjoyable, so long as there is a sign of character growth, and this growth is (of course) reflected on when the story reaches its final sentences. That, to me, is the payoff; seeing how the character has changed, for better or worse, over the arc of the story by the fic's end.