Monday, March 01, 2010


Dana King mentioned that my story below didn't end the way he expected. Interesting to contemplate how I might have ended it differently. But with this story for me, it was the only ending possible. Most people are not capable, for one reason or another, to exact revenge. In the story, the father is weak and sees his fate tied to Jimmy's presence. The daughter is a child and not competent to work out a way to exact punishment.

If you care to think about it, how would you end this story? It would interest me to see what others might do with the same set of circumstances--if you care to say. Would a stronger daughter have pushed harder at her father to at least go to the police? Would she have gone herself? I can see those endings working, too.


Todd Mason said...

As you might guess, if I thought you had a "wrong" ending, I might've written as much...the characters you present behave as they would, I'd say. If some folks want unrealistic justice in fiction, or some crowd-pleasing retributive violence, then they don't want art or life so much as stroking.

Chris said...

I'm sure it could have ended differently, but it couldn't have ended better, if that makes sense. Not without changing much of the story. There's no reason for us to think the father is capable of exactly any kind of revenge, and for him to do so, with the portrait you painted, would have taken a pretty big leap by the reader.

I think we all fall victim to the "Hollywood Ending" syndrome sometimes, where we all want things tied up nicely in the end, the good people living happily ever after and the bad getting their just desserts. But that doesn't always happen; hardly ever happens.

Now, if the other 6000 words showed our heroine going off to a deserted Pacific island to learn martial arts and swordfighting at the knee of a Master of Death Dealing, then she returns to exact her revenge, you might be on to something! ;)

Todd Mason said...

Stroking has its place, but not in art, which is a striving, in part, for truth.

Charles Gramlich said...

Vengeance endings are, strange to say perhaps, "feel good" endings. IN real life you are right, people don't get their just comeuppances. It makes it a very different story. I like the way you did it, and I think flash fictions can do that very well. Reading a whole novel where the villain didn't get their comeuppance might be a tougher sell to the readers.

DILLIGAF said...

I have no idea 'cause I haven't read it yet.

I'm a newby at this stuff...not a writer but willing to 'give it a go' indeed I have.

Off to read your work now and, if it's half as good as what I've read so far I can confirm I'm not a writer.

Still. We can all dream eh?

4D x

YA Sleuth said...

Have to say: I like it just the way it is.

the walking man said...

I like the ending "Always safe with Yellow" an old woman presenting a truism that Lilly already knows is false. She wasn't safe in her yellow shorts.

Given the characters the options for the end are limited. Lester only had a couple ways he could go and seeing the pull of the church on his being I doubt he could have overcome his being to go the route of killing "a man of god" no matter how evil. Not the man who supplied him money and took his pay in the use of a daughter he cared for but not overly much.

Lester didn't care for much since his wife's postcard only got a "Why Philadelphia" out of him.

No; all things given the end was the right one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for the great analysis, Mark. Wish you were in my writing group.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for the great analysis, Mark. Wish you were in my writing group.

Todd Mason said...

Which says something about writing groups, doesn't it?

Enchanted Oak said...

It's hard to cut out several thousand words from a piece and still some meaty to grab onto. You did well.
Any action other than what your characters have taken would be out of character for them. I also liked the "safe with yellow" irony.