Simon says, “write something with a plot, for fuck’s sake.” That’s what he says to me. Can you even believe that? Something with a plot. I guess he wants a real page turner with a crackerjack ending. Plot twists all over the shop, that’s what he wants. A pay-off that stays with you. He’s just started reading Gone Girl (the book of the film!) and he’s fucking rapt.
He’s the worst agent in the world. I should fire him.
What Simon doesn’t know yet is thus: the ending of Gone Girl fucking stinks. It’s a joke of an ending. Hopefully he’ll stop texting me about how great Gone Girl is when he gets there. The prick.
Most endings are shit. I don’t know why people have them. They’re just punchlines for a really long joke. There’s a reason they’re at the end. It’s because nobody would bother reading a book if the ending was at the start. The rest of the book is just there to hopefully keep you interested enough to get to the end. There’s a sense of relief when you finish a book, right? Even if you enjoyed it. That’s because you can be sure as shit the author was relieved to finish it. Blowing their cheeks out, all, thank fuck that’s finished.
Why did they bother doing it if they’re relieved it’s finished? Why didn’t they make it a short story? One they would have enjoyed doing throughout? One that didn’t out-stay its welcome?
It’s because they probably went to writing school.
Plots are fine. Don’t get me wrong. If you’re not the greatest living writer or dead then you’re going to need a plot – otherwise why the hell would anybody read your book? But, like, one or two plots for a whole book? Dude, you gotta shorten that shit! If you can sum it up in two or three lines why bother writing the rest? What are you thinking?
There’s no excuse for writing a novel, not in this day and age, because everybody’s favourite stories are short stories. In the olden days there was nothing else to do. Now we have telly. A long story is just a short story with a load of boring shit stuck in to make it long enough to be deemed a novel. You write a novel and you’re hitting that word count feature ten times a day. Gotta write a certain amount of words! Gotta reach an acceptable length for a novel.
And no film should last longer than an hour. Nobody has ever finished watching a film and thought, I wish that was longer.
Shorter is always better than longer. Always. Yeah, that includes my dick.
Hang on, isn’t my book about a million pages long?
Are you kidding me? Shut up. It’s a collection of short stories just featuring the same people. It’s a sit-com in book form. Surely to fuck you can see that? You want a plot? It’s got hundreds of plots. How about a drug addict can’t find his drugs, goes on a search for them all the while losing his composure until he reaches rock bottom and does the unthinkable with a knife. With a knife to his friend. He finds his drugs eventually but where does it leave his relationship? FADE TO BLACK.
A guy goes out to exact revenge on a kid who has upset his child’s notion of Christmas. After stalking him and waiting for the opportunity he blows it. FADE TO BLACK.
There’s a football match. FADE TO BLACK.
They’re plots, mate. They’re fucking plots. What more do you need? You’re just reading it wrong. You’re not supposed to read the whole thing in one go. You read a story in one go and then go and watch telly. Next day go and read another.
My favourite ever ending is from Stephen King’s The Mist.
The real ending is a lot funnier than my homage which follows… now!