Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Been thinking about this for a while as I approach the end of my current WIP.

Thought about it even more as I watched House last night. First, I want to declare my everlasting love for Hugh Laurie. The infatuation started in Sense and Sensibility. He had a small role, but I loved him in that movie. You can definitely see the genesis of the House character there.

Back to the point. House needs to end. I love the character, love the actor, but the show seems to have exhausted what they can do with him and his cottages, as Television without pity calls the three doctors under him.

Last night (spoiler alert) they introduced the idea that House might be dying and you know what, I liked it. And much to my dismay they crapped out on the concept.
It would have been a great way to end the show, on their terms, lots of dramatic possibility and then the show ends before it gets derivative and boring.
For examples, see Friends, and as much as I hate to admit it, even Buffy. The last two seasons of those shows were never as strong as the first few for me.

You can see it in other shows, an amazing concept that the writers never planned to last past one season. Prison Break, Lost, even at times, my absolute fav, Battlestar Galactica, although that last one has serious flashes of brilliance in it’s third season.

With the upcoming Harry Potter 7th book, I think, even though she needed to be edited more over the past two books, that Rowling made a smart choice limiting the series to seven. She said it from the beginning and I really hope she sticks to it.

Even within stand alone books, I find endings to be a serious problem sometimes. Authors extend the endings, tack on suspense plots in the last third, misunderstandings or long, long scenes that add nothing to the plot, just to get to 400 pages, when realistically the book should have ended 100 pages sooner and been so much stronger for it.

But endings are tough for me. They’re the hardest part of the book for me to write and I tend to rush them.

And now, it’s time to end this blog entry…. before I ramble on aimlessly any more.


Kimber said...

I agree. I've read some novels that could have been brilliant if only they had ended sooner. Just finished Nalini Singh's Visions of Heat. Loved it but the last couple chapters could have been skipped.

In business, its critical to know when to leave. I had a conversation with my current company President a couple of weeks ago. I told him that as much as I liked working there (and liked the money), they should hire a full time person. Having a contract person in this leadership position was weakening the company.

Sinead M said...

Wow, good for you Kimber. Knowing when to leave is a skill, even if it's leaving a position.
Me, I remember all those addictive Catherine Coulter and Julie Garwood romances I read years and years ago, that were great to page 300 and then the tacked on suspense plot, scenes that went nowhere just to add pages to the book.
100 pages after the romance conflict had been resolved..
Still loved them.. just didn't read the end.

Molly O'Keefe said...

HA! I read those same Julie Garwood books! I so agree with you about House last night -- enough already with this guy and his pain and his friend Wilson who is really becoming such a sad sack. The only interesting story line still working is House and whats her face the administrator. Cuddy. Hugh Laurie however is something else when the other whats her name kissed him? That was some solid acting and some tongue!!!!

Good post things should just know when to end.

Sidenote -- LOVING LOVING LOVING Silent from the Grave.

Sinead M said...

Really, so excited to read it, then. Haven't been reading much, sad to say as American Idol takes up way too much of my time..

But Hugh Laurie.. wow, last night, seriously got a renewed crush on the man. Is it just me, or is he seriously sexy...

Maureen McGowan said...

I hope I had my PVR set to tape that episode...

I agree that the show should be over, though, Sinead.

LOVED House in the first season but it's getting old. The irritating trailers used to advertise the episodes are evidence enough.
"This week House pushes things further than ever before!" What further than the further than ever he pushed it last week????

Christine said...

Next to the opening, I find endings the hardest to write. I can tell this because I usually slow right down when I'm writing. Every word becomes painful.

And I agree on TV shows that should end in their prime. It makes us love them all the more.

MaryF said...

I agree - House made me nuts this week! What a copout!

I have the worst time writing endings. How to pay it off - is it ever good enough?

Amy Ruttan said...

Sinead, I love Hugh Laurie too. Ever since I watched him in Blackadder when I was in highschool. If you like British History I recommend Blackadder, you'll recognize many a famous British face in this spoof of English history.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that loves Hugh Laurie, I loved him before he was a star.

Sinead M said...

Amy, you obviously have excellent taste. Saw a couple of episodes of Blackadder and I love English humour, so it is on a really long list of things I still have to watch..

But the man himself elevates show, despite its repitition to something still special.

Maureen McGowan said...

Hugh Laurie will always be that ridiculous Prince Regent character from Blackadder for me. Seriously funny stuff.

Early Miranda Richardson stuff in those Blackadder episodes, too... Rowen Atkinson, Ben Elton and Richard Curtis are geniuses.

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