I’m one of those people. You know the kind. You might even be one of them.
We are the ones that read the ending of a novel before anything else. The kind of reader that flips or scrolls to the last page or chapter of a book and devours it as if their life depended on it.
Yep, that’s me.
To be honest, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t read the ending before the beginning of a book. Even as a kid, I did it. I vividly remember standing in my school library, on those soft grey rugs, browsing through the colorful shelves and trying to decide on something to read. Every time I picked a story, I’d read the blurb and then go straight to the last few pages.
Did I like it? Did it make me feel something? Did it make me want to flip back and find out how that conclusion had come to be? If the answer was yes, then I’d take it. If the answer was no, well, then it was back to the shelf.
Fast forward a few years. Be it eBooks or paperbacks, I’ll still grab that book and go straight to the end. And yeah, I do the same with TV series and movies.
Recently, when I was at work, we started talking about books, specifically Game of Thrones. I haven’t seen or read the series because it’s not finished. That brought some surprised looks and of course, I had to explain my “peculiar quirk”.
“Why do you do it?” one of my colleagues asked.
“Why not?” I replied.
“You’ll ruin the surprise,” someone said.
“It’s insane. You’ll miss out on the journey,” another co-worker added.
“What’s the point of reading the story if you already know how it’s going to end?” my friend emphasized.
I’ve heard it all countless times and it doesn’t cease to make me smile. Why do I read the ending?
Well, there are several reasons. First, because I like it. Life in itself is full of uncertainty, so when I pick up a book I want to make sure that by the time I reach the end I’m going to love it.
And no, it doesn’t ruin the novel for me, not at all. Quite the contrary, by knowing the end I’m then even more eager to know how the characters reached that ending. I want to know every detail about how they got there with the certainty that all will end well. And in case you’re wondering, even though I know how things are going to turn out, I still get nervous and worried along with those characters. If the story is good, I will live it.
Besides, it’s like re-reading a good book. You already know how it finishes, but you still read it again and again.
The few times I’ve tried not reading the conclusion of a story have been catastrophic. Disappointment, anger, feeling as if I could have saved myself the grief and the time-investment if I had followed my natural instinct and read the ending first.
Interestingly enough as a writer things are a little different for me. I’m a romance writer, so yes, my characters are going to end up together with their Happy Ever After or their Happy For Now, but sometimes the details of the grand finale are hazy.
For instance, in Alpha’s Alpha, I knew exactly how the romance between Alkaline and Lee began, but it wasn’t until much later in the writing process that I found out exactly how the story was going to end.
The same thing happened with Hitman’s Angel my story in Evernight Publishing’s anthology Lawless. Grace and Colt didn’t make their ending clear until, well, almost the end, when one of the characters spilled the beans.
In other cases, I’ve been known to jot down the final scene of the story before delving into writing the rest of the book. One of those times was with my upcoming release, The Beauty of Forever. I could envision the last scene perfectly in my mind.
All that being said, I have a confession to make. Even when I read other genres, fantasy, mystery, etc. when there’s some form of romance involved, even if it’s a secondary or tertiary subplot, I need to know how it’s going to finish. That romance becomes an intricate party of the story for me.
This reminds me of another typical comment that comes up when you tell people you read romance novels.
“Romance novels all end in the same way. If you read a romance novel, you know the characters are going to end up together.”
Insert eye roll.
Yes, when we pick up a romance book we’re expecting a HEA or a HFN. But, there’s so much more to it. Is the last chapter going to be a romantic kiss? Perhaps, it’s going to be a wedding, a dance, or, some sizzling sex on a beach. We don’t know.
For me, an ending has to transmit emotion so I’m compelled to go back and experience a character’s journey.
Every story has a different ending. Every ending has a different story. And beginning at the end, is just another way to start the journey.
That’s all for today, lovelies! Remember, that you can keep in touch with me at any time by clicking on the links below.
Happy Holidays! XoXo,
Follow Elyzabeth at: