Quotes That Make You Go Hmmmm

Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear

Stephen King


I LOVE this quote and agree with it whole-heartily.  We fear the unknown, the things we don’t (or can’t) understand.  Once we understand how something works or what something is we lose that fear and/or respect.

In entertainment, whether it be books/movies/etc, the things that stick with me are the things that remain mysterious.  The unfortunate thing is that humans tend to be so inquisitive that we want to know more.  Take away that mystery and more often then not things turn mundane.

Take the TV show Lost for example.  I LOVED this show.  It was a very mysterious show & every time it gave you an answer it created another question.  The problem is that in the last season of the show it started to explain a few things, and once explained those things tended to be underwhelming.  When the show ended it didn’t answer all the questions which upset a lot of people.

So the interesting question is do you take away that mystery by giving the reader answers there-by robbing them of their interest and/or fear?  Or do you keep the mystery and possibly leave an unsatisfied reader?

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8 Comments

Filed under Quotes

8 responses to “Quotes That Make You Go Hmmmm

  1. I don’t know about that. I am terrified of clowns (I had a clown bed like Bart Simpson did, and it has scarred me for life. Can’t go to sleep the clown will eat me) and I understand, see, and acknowledge that it is there and where it came from. Knowing where it comes from hasn’t changed anything. Mr. King’s IT didn’t exactly help matters either. I am still horribly and childishly afraid of clowns. Before I explored my inner self and remembered the bed, the fear was still there. Knowing and it being a mystery was the same result.

    Scientifically we know how love works, how the pleasure chemicals in the brain are used to create an euphoric memory when your partner sprays you with their particular brand of pheromones. Because we know how it works in our bodies, does that lessen the value or take away the impact of your significant other? When science cracked the code, did love lose it’s meaning and become less entrancing?

    I don’t think so and I know that it makes me a minority. Several friends have become very very agitated with me when I showed them the science behind love. To them it made it an explainable occurrence, it took the mystery and allure out, for me it made my day. It proved that love isn’t some fabrication of our fragile human minds trying to justify existence, it meant that it was designed. Whether you believe in evolution or God, it doesn’t matter, It is real.

    Thanks for the post, you just gave me an idea for a blog entry.
    Cheers!

  2. It depends if there’s goina be a sequel, lol. In a series, it helps to extend it, keep the Mystery going. I think a reader would prefer an interesting ending more than a mysterious one over all. Mysterious is cool during, but at the end, I think Interesting is cooler. But like life, the Journey is the best part, I think that goes with Writing, Film etc. As great as an ending can be, it generally isn’t as good as the Journey to it. Although 6th Sense surprised the hell out of me, which was very unusual, and I loved it for it, and it has stuck with be because of it.

    I’ve only seen scenes from Lost, but when a series lasts as long as it did, and has such a huge following, what kind of ending could ever be satisfying. The Journey is the thing. In my opinion. I absolutely love Mysteries, but in the end, I’d rather know the answer, than be left guessing… Generally anyway.

    DarkJade-

  3. Jade’s probably right: it depends on whether there’s going to be a sequel. That said, however, the sequel might run on a different thread. In short, the answer probably is: It depends.
    If you like mystery, you might try Bus Stop on a Strage Loop. I assessed this novel at the MS stage, and even now, I find it mysterious. There’s so much she seems to leave unexplained; it’s like walking through a fog, yet I like it.
    Danielle de Valera

  4. I personally like it better when somethings are not fully explained. It leaves it up to the audience to determine what certain things meant. Normally if I am watching a movie with some friends, I’ll ask them for their opinion on what happned or what is meant by the thing that was never explained. I love a good debate and sometimes over thinking things. If we always completely understand something, then there is no room left to grow.

  5. I think there needs to be a balance between mystery and explanation. Some level of mystery keeps the story going beyond the book. It sparks the readers’ imaginations, allowing them to personalize the story. It also adds to discussion, when all readers can contribute their own theories. That being said, if nothing is explained, I think the readers may be even less satisfied (in general) than if everything is explained. i guess the trick is finding where that balance lies in each story.

  6. People like answers, and neat, simple ones at that. I think books, movies, or shows that leave the audience guessing are just reminding us about the reality of life. There are no simple, easy answers. Things don’t always clearly resolve themselves. Life and stories are always unfolding in unpredictable ways. We get lulled into a false sense of reality by buying into this “and they live happily or unhappily ever after” message of “the end.”

    In life, there is no “the end” until we die (and that’s even subject to debate.”

    Stories that leave me guessing are, at some level annoying, but they also make me think for a lot longer than those that have some kind of resolution. And isn’t that the hallmark of a great story–to make the audience ponder?

  7. Hmmm good question. Honestly I don’t know as a reader/watcher what’s worse for me to experience. Cliff hangers always keep you coming back for more but if that’s it, then you’re just left dangling forever when it comes to that story line. Then again, it is really sad when you get such a huge build up for something that absolutely can not come close to what you expected. I guess for me it would just have to depend on what “it” actually is. Thanks for making me think about this, and thanks for commenting on my blog as well 🙂

  8. I suggest reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” if you haven’t yet. It’s an amazing book that helped me with my writing, especially since Stephen is my idol.

    As for your post, I am a person who wants to know everything. I like continuity. I like people upfront about stuff. I love mystery and intrigue, but I want answers eventually. I am a person who loves the psychology behind certain scenes, words used, imagery, etc. This is why I love Lady Gaga because she has a reason for EVERYTHING she does, especially visual wise.

    With writing, I read, I believe in the Stephen King book I suggested, that you aren’t meant to hold the reader’s hand. That you’re simply to create the path and allow them to look at whatever captures their interest along the journey.

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