A good ending is like, dare I say it, an orgasm, that perfect moment when everything in a book comes together in a perfect explosion of understanding, satisfaction and enlightenment. The ahhh moment. Am I wrong in wanting more from a story's ending--kapow--something I never saw coming, gripping and mind-blowing, a sudden burst of energy when everything becomes clear? Here are some good plot ideas gone bad: (Warning, contains plot spoilers. If you'd like to watch these movies and do not want to know how they end, please stop reading now!)
Mister Buddwing: This movie, starring James Garner (book by Evan Hunter) is the story of a man wandering around New York with amnesia (I always love amnesia stories). He thinks he may be an escaped mental patient and he meets three women who may help him unravel the truth. Unfortunately the ending is a clunker. After all this mystery and stunning intrigue, which frankly left me riveted, it turns out he only blocked out an accident involving his wife. Ugh, big letdown. Deadly Encounter: A Lifetime Channel movie where a woman is involved in a road rage incident because a man is angry with her for cutting her off. Afterward, she receives threatening calls, is stalked, her mother is severely injured in a car accident and her son is kidnapped. Another clunker ending: after a deadly confrontation with her armed attacker in a deserted quarry, the man explains the reason for his rage: "You cut me off!" he shouts. So it's only because of the road rage, no surprise. I was expecting so much more.
Better Endings, Better Plots:
Mirage: Great amnesiac movie (one of my favorites) starring Gregory Peck as a man with amnesia in New York in lovely sixties black and white. His life is threatened and he is stalked because of what he knows. A woman claiming to be his former girlfriend feeds him tantalizing clues. More mystery surrounds the death of a big industrialist who has fallen from a high-rise building. Turns out Peck is really a chemist who has invented the formula for a perfect bomb--one that produces no fallout. He wanted the formula destroyed because it would make war too easy and munitions companies rich while his boss (the industrialist) did not. The irony is that the industrialist was also the head of a renowned peace foundation and Peck was responsible for accidentally causing his fall from the building because the man was reaching out for a copy of the formula Peck was trying to burn. Great ending, great irony. Unknown: Another excellent amnesiac movie starring Liam Neeson as a doctor attending a biotechnology conference in Berlin with his wife. When he realizes he left his briefcase behind in a cab, he tries to retrieve it, but winds up getting involved in a car accident and is in a coma for four days. When he returns to the hotel, his wife does not recognize him and she is seemingly married to another man, who has assumed his identity. Once again, his life is threatened and he is stalked. In reality, he and his wife and the other man are really assassins supposedly sent to kill a Saudi prince. But there's another surprise, the target is actually a scientist who has discovered a new breed of corn with the ability to survive in any climate, easing the world's food supply problem. Once again, surprise and irony apparent in the fact that he thought he was a doctor, but in reality was a cold-blooded assassin.
While reading Writing Suspense and Mystery Fiction,I learned that Sherlock Holmes wrote stories that had surprises in them, but Edgar Allen Poe wrote stories that contained both surprise and irony. So really good endings should have both as well as providing the reader with that big kapow they were waiting for.
Next week: Metaphors and Similes, the Bane of My Existence
FIVE STARS: "Excellent writing! Enjoyable hero and heroine! Great romance! Fast pace! I read it straight through! Author thorough in research! I lived the experience!"--A reader on Amazon.com
FIVE STARS: "Erica Kingsley, a twenty-nine year old spoiled woman had to be taught a lesson and her CEO father planned with the help of her ex-lover to do just that! The Holiday Channel needed a huge cash flow shot in the arm or it was at the mercy of his enemy. Erica hosted "The Lap of Luxury Show" and her ex hosted "The Wildman Show." Both shows could not survive and he got the idea of filming Erica as she tried to survive in the Belize jungle while they searched for Montezuma's Treasure!
Trey Zacco was told not to give the pampered Erica any help and he rode her hard! His crew was being picked off one by one and all eyes were on Erica as the culprit, but would she go as far as murder to get back to Miami?
Does Ms. Chambers hold her readers captive with a book that you just can't put down and gives her opinion on where the king's daughter buried his gold! From the descriptions of the jungle, the visions fairly leaped off the pages and I can't wait to read her next!"--A Reader on Goodreads.com
FIVE STARS: "A Wild Sultry Ride! Wonderful, action-packed story! I was completely lost in the author's words. Ms. Chambers created quite a world for us to lose ourself in. The chemistry between Trey and Erica is fantastic. With curves, twist, romance and action. Take the chance, The Montezuma Secret is well worth your time."--A reader on Amazon.com
The Secret Sentinel
Available from The Wild Rose Press
Reviews for The Secret Sentinel
FIVE STARS AND A TOP PICK FROM NIGHT OWL REVIEWS--" The Secret Sentinel is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. Look out Nora Roberts...there's a new author on the horizon."
FOUR STARS FROM THE ROMANCE STUDIO--"The constant action and adventure made this a very enjoyable read. If you loved the movie 'Romancing the Stone' this book will be a treat for you."
RT Reviews--"Deception is the watchword in Chambers' thriller. The action is fast moving and the characters intriguing."
NIGHTS AND WEEKEND REVIEWS--"A wild mixture of National Treasure and Indiana Jones."
FIVE STARS--GOODREADS--"Savannah Rutledge Unlocks Pandora's Box When She Takes Her Father's Secret Map and Loans It To Her Boss For Display For A Southwest Fest And To Save Her Job, But Instead of Crowing With Delight She Was Running For Her Life With Murder Charges, Her Disabled Father Murdered, And A Zorro Stranger Kidnapping Her! A One Hundred Year Old Secret Has Been Released And It Refuses To Get Back In The Box!"
Time of The Eleven
Now Available on Amazon!
The Time of the Eleven
A daring prison escape in Mexico. An explosion in the Hague. Tourists disappearing in Scotland and the Sahara. Reporters murdered or reported missing. Seemingly unrelated incidents. Or parts of an ingenious terrorist plot? After her fiance mysteriously disappears, Kiley Prescott has a chance encounter with a seductive stranger in Mexico. But who is this man? FBI agent Peter Rushing is sure her new lover, handsome Armand Rachet, is really the notorious international terrorist, Gabriel Roca, suspected in a series of devastating bombings overseas. After Kiley learns Rushing was fired from the FBI, she fears he is hiding something even more sinister. The chase for the truth takes her cross country, from Washington to Chicago, Las Vegas, and finally San Diego, where Kiley learns the deadliest secret of all--everything is timed to happen at eleven. Eleven men. The eleventh hourof the eleventh day of November, 2011. It is "The Time of the Eleven."