Sunday, 19 February 2012

Should Writers Give Their Readers A Choice Of Ending?

Did you have a game book as a child?
Go to page four...

How many times have you got to the end of a story, only to be bitterly disappointed by the character's fate/the story's end?

Earlier in the week; I caught a news report about how novelist Caroline Smailes had come up with 11 endings for her digital novel: 99 Reasons

It raises the question; should writers provide their readers with a multitude of endings to cater for individual tastes?

For me personally the ending of a book is final. I accept the author's vision; it makes for great discussion as to whether it should have ended in that way; but I can see how choosing an ending can be satisfying.

It takes me back to the experience of being a given a game book (pictured) as a child. You had various items and choices that determined the characters story. The aim was to get the characters to the end without meeting an ill-fated end.
I've heard of many children's stories being done in this way and I think it is great way to get kids engaged in the story. It works. There have been many series of books done in this way; including the ever popular "Goose Bumps - Give Yourself Goosebumps"

I've not heard of adult fiction being done this way however.

I think with the increase of digital fiction we will see more and more stories offering it's readers more control of what they want to see happen.

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