Thursday, March 19, 2009

Worst Ending Contest: The Winner Is...

There were A LOT of bad endings here, but I think one clear winner:


Yay! Adam, let's talk about your totally awesome prize and such. You definitely earned it.

Let me take a moment to explain my choice, since I think it sheds a light on what readers might expect from an ending. In reading all the entries (which were pretty dang horrible), certain themes came up that made an ending bad:

1. Too unexpected
Kiersten's Star Wars one is not only unexpected, but nasty. No one would ever buy that as the end (hopefully). Carrie's devastating end for Little Women is also pretty freaking ridiculous, hehe. When something comes out of left field, people just aren't satisfied. That's not to say twists are bad, but that they at least have to be LOGICAL.

2. Negates the entire purpose of the story
Jen had a great example here with Harry Potter waking up from a dream—lame! Getting invested in 700 pages to find out the whole thing was a trippy dream sucks. Nick also had a classic one with Gandalf making Frodo and Sam go to Mordor for nothing. Can you imagine? We got invested for what?

3. No actual resolution
Carrie's Rumplestiltsken falls here—he changes his name to Michael Jackson! Ah! That opens up a whole new can of worms. And H-Duck brought up that terrible scenario where the poor dwarf is flung into a portal never to be heard from again. What the crap? That's it?

4. Goes against "the genre"
Like it or not, genres have formulas. Uh, that's what makes them genres. If you're reading romance, you're expecting somewhat of a happy ending where the couple gets together. Renee's devastating end to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy would have enraged women everywhere! And as completely hilarious as Jessie's ending to Twlight is, talk about a downer! Carrie's violent end to a children's book also kinda breaks that genre expectation.

Well, Adam's awful ending had it all. It was completely unexpected, it negated the entire purpose of the book, it didn't provide an actual resolution since three dudes were now fighting over the ring, AND it went against the genre (in fantasy usually the good guys prevail, bad guys win here). To add on top of all that, he introduced NEW characters in the last scene! The horror! AND he swore in a book I'm pretty sure has none of the sort. Talk about BAD. So congrats, Adam. You can write one terrible ending.


  1. Yay for Adam's ending! That was my vote. :)

    I think we should send it to Peter Jackson, and ask him to consider re-filming the end of the last movie.

  2. Snarf. I can't argue with that logic! Congrats to Adam!

  3. A worthy winner. Congrats Adam. While I know it sucked, I have to say I really enjoyed it.

  4. Carrie, can you add a link here to the original contest post?

  5. Sorry, Carrie, Natalie. Mixed you up for a minute. *g*

  6. There you go, Tara. And don't worry. People mix us up all the time. You'd think people could tell the difference between two women wearing ninja gi...

  7. Which brings up a really good point. When two bands of rival ninjas, swathed head to toe in black, fight one another, how do they keep from getting confused and battling their comrades?

  8. I'm impressed that you categorized all the bad endings, and I think your four points pretty much sum up all bad endings. Good job Adam!

  9. I really want to know how Adam's story ends, was Elrond Darth Vader's dad? Oh! I know, using time travel, Elrond, Darth Vader, and Voldemort are all eachother's fathers, in a cyclic manner...

  10. Tara,

    Actually you bring up a central ninja strategy. The team who wins usually was able to trick the other team into killing eachother.

  11. Too bad I'm late, I have plenty of bad writing lying around....

  12. Thanks, guys. I couldn't win Nathan Bransford's best first paragraph contest, but it's really good to know that when crappy writing counts, I'm a winner!

    Seriously, I'm glad you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Nick: LOL. At one point, I was actually considering having Darth Vader claim to be Voldemort's father, then Harry Potter show up and say, "He is not! He's my father!"

    Or something like that.

  13. Congrats, Adam! You lucky thing, you.

  14. Yes... What a terrible stalemate, they all want the ring but the death of one means the death of all.