Endings: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

by Jackie Houchin

There are many kinds of endings – your years in school or college, work (retirement), the last chemo session, the last crumbs in the cookie jar, cereal box, coffee canister, friendships and marriages, letters, books (reading or writing), payments on your home or car, a movie episode or series on TV, the ink in a favorite pen, a headache or toothache, a lovely vacation, a calendar, a blog.

Some endings you are grateful for, some leave you sorrowful, nostalgic, or simply inconvenienced. And with some, you are relieved and satisfied. You brush your hands together, stand up tall, and walk away. You’ll “think about it another day,” as Scarlett O’Hare so famously said.


Of course, this is a blog by and about writers, writing, publishing, marketing, and even for some (like me) reading and reviewing books.  Writers LOVE to type “The End” on a manuscript, be it a lengthy tome, a 3,000-word short story, or a 600-word review. There is a sense of accomplishment. And as writers, we hope those endings appeal to our readers and keep them coming back for more.  As readers, we want to be surprised, entertained, and yes, satisfied that the bad guy got caught, the mystery was solved, or the romance was sealed with a kiss and a ring.

Can you think of a book whose ending you absolutely loved for whatever reason? Mention it in the comments below.  Or one that was the worst ever – so bad that you threw the book across the room, or directly into the trash?

If you are a writer, how will you end the book (story, article, review) that you are working on right now?  Can you give us a hint?


A few of us here have discussed the demise of this blog at the end of 2022.  Oh, we still have some good posts lined up for you from us six “Writers In Residence” as well as a helpful guest blogger in November.

We would LOVE to hear your thoughts. Don’t just “massage our egos” but tell us outright how you feel. Would you miss reading this blog each Wednesday?  Or is it with a big sigh and resolute determination that you log on, once again?

If we vote for another year of The Writers in Residence, what topics would you like to see upcoming?  Are there guest bloggers you would love to hear from?  Is there someone you’d especially like for us to interview?  Would you enjoy some kind of quiz or giveaway (be specific!)?

Interests change, we know, and readers have less time to visit and perluse blogs. Maybe there are other venues that pique their interests or grab their attention. Is that you?  If so, please be honest.

What say ye? Please leave thoughts and suggestions in the comments section, or share them with any of us on Facebook.

The End

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Author: Jackie Houchin

First, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, so my views and opinions are filtered through what God's Word says and I believe. I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma and now a great grandma. I write articles and reviews, and I dabble in short fiction. I enjoy living near the ocean, doing gardening (for beauty and food) and traveling - in other countries, if possible. My heart is for Christian missions, and I'm compiling a collections of Missionary Kids' stories to publish. (I also like kittens and cats and reading mysteries.)

9 thoughts on “Endings: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

  1. Ah, endings. As for the many books I have read, fiction that is, if I finished the book without tossing it across the room after the first few chapters, I can guess that the ending will be satisfying. As for how I end my many mystery books and short stories, I most always catch the bad guy or we know his or her just deserts will be coming soon. The holiday books always end well. Now for the big question: The Blog. It probably is time to wrap it up, but as we have discussed, we still have Facebook and can post small “blog-ettes” when we have something to say. And we might reach even more people that way. I enjoyed the blog and even published a book (So You Want to be a Writer) with many of my blogs in it to help other writers. I was amazed how much I learned just penning those pieces. I realized there was a method to this madness called writing. But it will be interesting to see what others think about us retiring the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Over the years these blogs have proven themselves worthy of a bound and signed copy! I’m an old wish-I’d-written-more writer wannabe; contact with your varied lives has been an inspiration. Gather your blogworks and put ’em up for sale as a digital collectible! What a treasure trove of insights! And, yes… I vote for you all to trek on for completely selfish reasons. Your works have proven even more interesting with these insights into how those works came about, sometimes why, sometimes where and when, and most of all, truly by whom. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Say it isn’t so!!
    But then, selfishly, I rely on Gayle to post my blogs. So I do understand if Gayle has had enough…
    It’s always a challenge to know what to write about. And Gayle knows that I’m always so last-minute in completing mine.
    But I love the challenge, I love expressing my thoughts, sharing my life – and, most of all, I’m so proud of our little group of writers, seeing how our work has progressed over the years and how we encourage each other through life’s dramas and our writing endeavors. Our Blog has kept me centered and given me a focus on my writing self, when life becomes a hurricane that’s tough to avoid.
    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you all for providing such a valuable blog for so many years. It’s one of the few I read on a regular basis, although I do miss some. I’ve been honored to be a guest blogger twice.

    I totally understand if you feel it’s time for a wrap. Over the past eight years, I’ve been a participating author on 3–yes, 3!—blogs that discontinued. Busyness and weariness (what on earth can I write about that I haven’t already?) were the most common reasons. I rarely post on my own blog these days, even going so far as to remove the posting dates! Like Jackie said, blogs are not as popular as they once were.

    If you stay, you could post biweekly, even monthly. I especially enjoy the posts on craft, promotion, marketing, and the guest bloggers. I can suggest a couple of guest bloggers right off: Karen Odden, who released a Victorian mystery this week; and Kathleen Kalb. I’m not big on quizzes, but many enjoy them. Giveaways are a good idea. If I come up with more ideas, I’ll share.

    If you decide to move on, and if it isn’t an expense, I hope you keep the archived posts online. You could create a Facebook group. On it you could revive your pandemic lunch meetings.

    I recall a book with an ending so shocking that I screamed (no throwing, though. It was a library book :-). I loved the story till the last line. It was certainly different and creative, a true twist. Too twisty for me. My book group agreed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually a FACEBOOK GROUP might not be so bad. Not just posting on our own Facebook pages, but a Writers in Residence Group. It would mean we all SIX need to be on Facebook, and check in at least once in a while, monitor the posts and comments, and add new stuff.
      And there IS quite a bit of content on this blog – back to 2008. If we do stop, I also think it would be good to keep it available, although not sure who would be reading it…I guess some who Googled the topics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You could include a link in two places: on the FB profile, and at the end of each post. But someone with more skill in navigating the pesty FB nuances and algorithms might have helpful advice.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe I’m biased, but this blog – and especially my co-bloggers throughout the years – have been an inspiration to me. We’ve worked together for over two decades to learn our craft, improve our writing, and create a supportive environment for each other, and then share those experiences here, with our readers, to create a new community of writers. If you agree, please let us know.

    Liked by 1 person

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