Such a simple question, isn’t it? Then why does it aggravate me?
It’s one thing for people to ask about the plot (regardless of how well I can tell them about it), because it shows that they’re actually interested in the book. But when they ask about the ending, I feel slightly offended.
The ending is probably the toughest part of the book, and many a times an author will agonize over how to end their book in a way that doesn’t leave any loose ends and actually satisfies the reader. I personally have been unable to finish a book that I started more than three years ago because I don’t know how to end it. It takes a lot of effort to write a book, and even more effort to end it properly… to part with characters who’ve accompanied you throughout its pages.
It has happened to me before; I’d be telling (or struggling to tell) someone about the plot, and then before I’m done they ask, “So how does it end?” Sure, at times it might mean that they’re really interested and are impatient to know the ending, but other times they just want to know to negate the necessity of reading the book itself.
Unless the person is an agent or someone helping me brainstorm, I don’t think they’re entitled to ask about the ending of the book. It really makes light of the effort the author has put into writing a long book. When we write, we pay attention to all the small details, we make sure that actions are justified, things make sense, characters don’t behave in an insane way for no reason, etc… it all requires time and attention, and to have someone come and ignore all these things and just ask about the ending, that’s saddening, isn’t it?
Speaking of endings… I’m also baffled by those people who read the ending before even starting the book. What’s the point of that? It just ruins the entire book!
What do you do when someone asks you about the ending of your book? I just smile politely and tell them to read it.