Monday, 25 October 2010

Do You Like Neat or Messy?

Storylines that is.

I've been thinking about that this week after reading Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews and Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone.

Do you like everything tied up at the end of a story with a nice little bow on top or do you like a little bit of mystery left at the end. Something for you to think about after you've closed the book.

Personally, I like my stories to be a little messy - not too messy, I like to have an understanding of what's going on - but I don't need to have everything spelled out for me. I think it makes things a little more real, it also engages your brain with what you're reading.

In my review of the first in the Kate Daniels series, I made a comment about Curran being a bit of a wanker - he blames Kate for misidentifying the bad guy when in fact it was he who made the suggestion. So...a little bit messy. Did he have to be such a git? lol. But having just finished book 4 in the series - Magic Bleeds - I absolutely LOVE the fact that it acknowledges that Curran does make bad decisions but cannot take it back if he does and no one is in a position to contradict him either or say - "you're being a git". It helps make the characters feel so much more real.

Fallen From Grace is the first m/f in a long time that I've really enjoyed but I wish that something that happened at the end, hadn't happened - this is a really personal thing, so for most readers I doubt it would bother them, especially if they're reading a lot of m/f contemporary anyway. But it was like - here's your happy ending and now I'm going to put a bow on it. (One of the main reasons why I've come to prefer m/m over m/f).

This type of thing always makes me think of the Amazon review of one of my favourite urban fantasy's, which complained about the hero and heroine having sex. The fact that the hero couldn't wait to get his hands on the heroine, that they didn't make love, but rather went at it like two rabbits hopped up on viagra. But I like the fact that the sex was a little messy, that they couldn't wait 'til they had access to a bedroom.

So do you like your stories all wrapped up at the end, or do you like them to be a little messy? I have a copy of On the Edge by Lynn Erickson to give away to one posted to this thread. Winner to be chosen by random number at on Saturday.


Nicole said...

I'd have to go with "lived in". Neither neat nor messy. Mostly tidy, but with a few thigns left not-quite-perfect.

(Don't enter me in this contest... I have too many books that will be attempting to distract me from NaNo as it is.)

LesleyW said...

Nicole - I like 'lived in'. :) I think it probably explains it better.

Anonymous said...

'Lived In' sounds perfect. A little neat but with a couple of things not quite in the right there is still some working to do.

in Germany

Sullivan McPig said...

I like it when things are left open for interpretation.
A good example is 'The Virgin Blue' by Tracy Chevalier. It was her first book and she left a couple of things open in the end and I loved it! It made me think about the story for days after finishing the book.
She later told that if she had to write the book again she would write it differently and close off those loose ends.
I can only say I'm glad she didn't as it still is my favourite of her books just because of how she wrote the end.

LesleyW said...

Valerie - I think Nicole has hit on the perfect description. :)

Sullivan - I like it when I have to use my brain a little when I'm reading. I think it makes things more interesting. :)