Jump to content

Disappointed in a story you love?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,


So I've been reading this story not at GA, and I was really enjoying it. I was really invested in the characters, etc. Well the story was quite long, and over its course the characters have evolved considerably. It mostly works. I mean it's very well written, and as they've changed the author has add events to their backstories and stuff and made it at least...consistent for the most part.


The trouble is with the addition of all these things the characters themselves are behaving in ways that are...well very unexpected. Also, while the backstories are added to, or revealed to have been false and what not, I can't help but think, "OH, so we're just now finding out that this major event happened 5 years ago?!". When the character's history has already been pretty thoroughly explored and something as major as this would have been mentioned or at least hinted at by the other characters.


Anyway, the point is, I was actually quite disappointed in some of the things that happened. They were at least mostly plausible and very well written, but they weren't consistent with what used to be the central elements and key aspects of the characters and story.


The story itself was written over the span of several years, so it's understandable that the author would want to explore new things. I also believe that an author always has the complete and total right to do whatever they like with their story and characters. I guess my "bone to pick" is that I think at some point the story should have stopped, and a new story with new characters should have explored and experienced the things that the author wanted. It really would have made several excellent stories, but as a single story with the same characters it was just too meandering and inconsistent.


As I said though, that's the author's right, and I'm not going to flame them or anything like that.


I also recognize that the main reason I was upset about the events of the story is because it was so good and the characters were so compelling.


Anyway point is have any of you guys ever experienced something similar? Where you felt like the story and characters wandered too far from their starting point. Or where things just got weird after awhile?


Please do not post any specifics or enough details for anyone to guess which story and/or author you're talking about, particularly if they're affiliated in anyway with this site. I was mostly just curious about whether this was a common feeling that readers get sometimes and what they think about it?



Link to comment

I don't mind using the same characters for different sets and what not, but split it up into a series of stories! Please!!

If you want your characters to do different plot lines, consider each plot line a new book/story.

I've run across one to many stories that go on and on and on. I'm currently reading one fanfiction that is running 148 chapters. It's on a private site mind you. I'm talking with the author about splitting the story into more then one, each one about 20 chapters long.

It's not that hard to do but I don't know why authors don't do it. It makes it easier on the reader and on the writer.

Link to comment

I know what you mean. I will mention a story, but that's because it's Harry Potter and everyone knows it. I was disappointed with how JKR treated the characters after book 4. There was a lot of wasted potential, really.


This problem comes up in long series more often than shorter works, obviously. I guess, if the author didn't have an outline, he/she might not know when to stop; the story might drag on, long after it deserves a respectable ending. On the other hand, if the author did have an outline (I think JKR was in this sort of situation), the story might have bloomed in a way that no longer fit the outline. If the author insists on following that outline, then, problems can arise.


Not everyone is a Tolstoy! Or a Victor Hugo. Splitting is good. :D

Link to comment

For me, too, the first thing that came to mind when reading the line 'disappointed in a story you love' was Harry Potter. Because I did love those books up until and including book 4, and I don't think I've read another story where such a large part was so disappointing (at least not after such a wonderful first part.)


Having said that, I still love the first four books though I don't reread them anymore like I used to, and the idea of the magical world is just great, too. All due credit to JKR for that. :)

Link to comment

Well Kevin, that seems not like a lot of fun. I've read stories where there are past events introduced and it was an obvious attempt to keep the story running too.

I don't so much mind it, but after a point I agree it is tiresome, especially if the characters

Link to comment
  • Site Administrator

I can think of two print trilogies that I had a similar reaction to. In one, I loved the first two novels and was eagerly looking forward to how the author would resolve the situation in the third and final novel... only to find the story going in a completely different and (to me) unforeshadowed direction. Not only that, but I couldn't reconcile the new direction with the rest of the story. I was very disappointed. In the other story, I wasn't as disappointed, but I still thought the ending was weak, given the quality of the first two novels.


This was part of what taught me about how difficult it is to end a story. In the first case, I believe the author had written themselves into a corner. I have trouble believing that it was what they intended all along, as otherwise I would have expected some earlier hints as to the sudden change in direction and nature of the story. In the second case, I'm sure it was the ending the author had expected, because there was a lot of foreshadowing, but I still felt it was weak.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..