Recently, I heard somebody say about a movie: "Well, now that you've told me how it ends, I guess I don't need to watch it." Which, of course, set me on a huge train of thought that finally pulled into the blog post station this morning.
It's not about the end. It's about the journey. Yes, I sound like a fortune cookie. I don't know about you, but when I read, the ending is important, but the real treat is everything leading up to that ending.
People don't read 500 page books just for the 30 pages of spectacular ending. People read for 30 pages of awesome ending, plus 470 other pages that had better be just as amazing.
Let's take my book, Secrets of the Legend Chaser (Ugh, I need a new title), for example. My main character, Davi, essentially runs away from some huge responsibilities. He's swimming in a pool of self-doubt and fear and trust issues. In the end, he resolves his insecurity, for fear of spoiling an ending that hasn't been written.
But if Davi experienced his beginning, then cut straight to the end of the story, he would've learned nothing. He wouldn't have grown and changed, which could be argued as the heart of fiction. He'd still be the same old Davi. Because it's not the ending that forces him to realize things; it's the journey.
If you just hear the ending and don't bother to read the book, you're really missing out. You're missing all the action and suspense, all the drama and heartbreak. You miss all the pain, all the joy, all the swordfights and time travel. You miss all the good stuff.
I'm not saying you can go around yelling spoilerific spoilers. If someone tells me how a book ends, of course I'll take that book and pound them with it (especially if it's hardcover). An ending isn't just the finale of the story; it's the compilation of everything leading up to that point. In the end, a book isn't about how it ends. The true magic is in how you get there.