“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.” – Steven Spielberg
I recently came across this quote and thought, do I agree with this? Is it true? Is it not? Is it partly true?
The more I think about it, the more I do think that it’s true. The end of a good story is never really the end of the story, is it? Even “And they lived happily ever after” implies that something does happen after the book is closed for the final time.
The same goes for the Epilogue. It will summarize what happens next, but still it doesn’t actually finish the story. Unless, maybe if the main character dies.
But even if the main character dies, the rest of the story world continues. Other characters still live on.
Just as in real life.
And the stories that touch us the most have to have some part of real life in them. That’s why I think we’re drawn to such stories. Now this is not true for every story or book. I’ve read my fair share of books where the characters and plots are, at best, just “okay”. Others could be better described as dull and lifeless (and perhaps even trying too hard, but not succeeding). These stories, we’re probably glad to see the end of.
But for good books… For the stories that stick with us… These are the stories where the end of the book is really just another beginning.
It’s a beginning that comes after The End.