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Two television shows that I watched faithfully have ended, Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black.

One was about a world so different than my own, where rivaling factions fought to take control, all while depicting scenes of violence and gratuitous sex.

The other was Game of Thrones.

I loved both of these shows from the beginning. Well, GoT hooked me from the first episode where it took about 4 episodes to connect with OITNB, but you get the idea. While I stayed hooded on GoT throughout, I found the season or two of Orange before the final one to drag down the show, to the point that during what became the penultimate season I kept saying ‘this show needs to end before it gets bad.’

Game of Thrones ended first and, well, I don’t have to tell anyone how that final season went over. I tried my best to defend it for weeks after, but in the end was disappointed. It was still beautiful to watch and mostly I’m fine with ‘how’ things ended, but just not with how they got there.

Then there’s Orange. After two seasons that I stayed with because I felt I owed it to the show, the final season did something I did not expect. It stepped up and said ‘here you go’ and delivered the most incredible set of episodes in the show’s run. Each time one would end, we would sit there silent for a few moments before letting out an audible… ‘whew.’ This was screenwriting at its best, bringing all those characters to conclusions, not unlike GoTo, not always in an uplifting way. 

Ending a story is difficult. I’ve run into it five times over my five novels. The new film conclusion to Stephen King’s IT has inside jokes all through it about a novelist character who doesn’t know how to end his books, pointed directly at Mr. King himself who lets himself in on the joke in a great cameo. So even the most successful in writing have difficulty creating endings that stay true to the work and make the readers happy with the outcome.

I’m already deep into writing my next novel and in a rare twist, I know the ending already. And I think it is good. There’s time for me to screw that up before I finish the book, but I’m hoping this to be one of my most popular yet. 


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