So who is "them"? "Them" are your readers. The first half of this post is geared toward my writing friends and the second half will be geared toward my reading friends.
When you are writing a story, what do you aim to do. It's the end of your book (or series), do you wrap everything up in a perfect bow? Does the girl always get the guy of her dreams? Do you have everyone of the main characters survive and go off to college? Does the bad guy get "it" in the end?
or are you like me? When I write, I write to make a reader cry. I want them to feel a deep emotion that may just shatter them. In my completed manuscript The Owens Legacy: Revelations the last chapter makes people cry. It frustrates them. Do I like making my friends (who have been so kind to read my book) cry? No, but it seems very rewarding to me to make them feel, and to feel deeply.
So will I always make them cry - maybe. What about you?
And my reader friends. What do you prefer? Do you prefer a heartbreaking ending or do you prefer the pretty bow? As an author, it is me who wishes to know what you expect from me, from the great authors out there.
As a reader, maybe I put too much stock in the last pages of a book. I know that the last five pages are what stays with me the most when I am done reading. I mean I love a great cliffhanger, but I know more is coming, so it is not over. I know there may be some more turmoil but the end bow (or heartbreak) has not come yet. So when the book or series is over what do you want to feel?