I've thought about this in real life before, but it's never really translated to reading or writing. But the whole mantra of when one thing ends, another begins is really true in storytelling.
I'm a firm believer that stories don't need to be completely closed to be satisfying. Yes, I need the drama to be wrapped up and the conflict resolved, but I don't need to know what happens five years after the book ends or anything like that. (Jeff touched on this earlier this week. I loved THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE for exactly this reason. I could imagine what else happened based on the superb storytelling Jeff had already done.)
I adored everything about Harry Potter except the fact that we know exactly what happens 19 years later. I wanted to imagine what I wanted for Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione and their kids/lives.
I think the best storytellers weave the elements of the story so tightly with the elements of character that the reader can formulate that perfect ending in their head after the main conflict is resolved.
Those are the kind of endings that create new beginnings for me. Those are the kind of endings I enjoy reading. Those are the kind of endings I try to write.
What do you think? Do you like the author to tell you exactly what happens, or would you rather construct that for yourself?