Sunday, January 30, 2011

It Is The End

Two of the beta readers have politely intimated disappointment at the end. Two others were non-committed about the ending, just mostly smiling and nodding and stirring their half-empty cups of coffee. One beta reader began correcting the grammar of one of my characters. One liked the "hero"and wants him in the next book. One liked the nautical vocabulary, learning with the main character. One skipped over it, but thought it wasn't "too much" to skip. One wanted to read more. One admitted she doesn't like historical fiction.

All felt they were there, on the ship, experiencing life at sea and liked the main character.

So after all of this, there comes a time when one must admit defeat and end it...


So that is what I have done. I've saved my old ending, but have written a new one. I am afraid it might be a little sappy, but perhaps it will be more pleasing than the ending I had. I'm sure it will have to be revised a thousand more times, but I think I'll start the query process again.

But first I'll send it to my BFF.

Wish me luck.


  1. Good Luck! My fingers are crossed (and so are my toes!!)

  2. I'm glad you've decided to end it .... differently. Phew!

    And don't forget, Melanie, it's all subjective. No two people, ever like exactly the same things.

    I'm rewriting the ending of my book too by the way. Again.

    All the best.

  3. Single,

    Thanks. Keep 'em crossed. :)


    Misery really does love company. I share your pain, my friend. End it...differently.

  4. Yikes you had me worried that you were about to trun it.

    GOOD LUCK with the BFF.

    Don't capitulate with the ending. Are you sure you chose "your market" for beta readers? Why does different mean sappy?
    Does a sappy ending make you glad you've spent all this time with your main character, housed her, clothed her, sent her off to college (to learn nautical terminology)?
    Of course, I wasn't asked to read the work, so I should be quiet.....

  5. Dale,

    Well, it is true one of my beta readers didn't admit she didn't like historical fiction until she had the manuscript in her hands. But they all said it was a fast read, even her. That has to be a positive sign, right?

    I like the ending better today.

  6. Sparrowsong,

    Thanks. I'm excited and scared.

  7. It sounds like you're on the right path. The editing and rewrites are just as important as writing the initial story, it's in the crafting that makes a fine piece of literature. I wish you all the best. :)

  8. KLParry

    Thanks. I've learned a lot. Hopefully that shows in the revision.

    Thanks for your comment. :)

  9. I came over from Tina Lynn's blog and I know how you feel. It took a while and a few polite prods to realize my ending didn't work.

    Good luck with the rewrites.

  10. Patti,

    Thanks so much for your comment. It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone.

    And I'll thank Tina for sending you. Tina's blog is at:

  11. Good for you! I know what you're going through. I just had to rewrite the ending of one of my books. It was tough to do because I had such plans, but after all is said and done, I'm glad I changed it. It's a stronger book by far.

    Good luck to you!

  12. Kathi,

    I'm still not completely comfortable with the new ending. It needs a few more revisions, I think.

  13. Good luck and all

    Gotta love the rewrite :-)

    i LOVE that picture by the way... made me stop and say HI!


  14. Dear Melanie,

    I'm concerned that you have interviewed your beta readers during a new moon when they are most likely to be unusually sensitive and crabby. Feeding them coffee instead of martinis probably didn't help either. I showed Allen your blog, scrolling down to the dismal photo of the mansion seemingly on the brink of destruction, but stopping short of the "differently" part. His face fell and he said, "Awwwww..." When I popped the "differently" into view, he perked up, glad that you hadn't entirely quit on your story. We both like your original ending best even though we have not read it, and urge you to reconsider changing it.

  15. Constance

    That is the Cliff House in San Francisco. I believe that particular version of the Cliff House burned in 1907, but it was rebuilt. Still fabulous, but not quite as mystical.

  16. Jewell,

    I had to laugh. I'm glad both you and your husband liked the first ending better (even though you've never read it). And I'll seriously take it into consideration that martinis will be the better beverage for the next "grilling".

  17. no, but really fantastic...Great shot? Where DID you find it.

    I guess if you DO rewrite... and you HAVE saved the old ending, you can always go back to the original ending if you need to. Lots of work, but at least you can say "well that didn't work" and move on.

    Good luck

  18. I always go with the ending that has the highest "satisfaction factor" but doesn't feel overworked. And I always recognize that some readers will want more and some less, some will feel it's perfect and some will feel it's contrived. Please yourself, kiddo, and keep your integrity intact.

  19. Carolyn,

    Good advise. I knew the old ending was risky, especially for the audience for which it was intended. Then I asked myself, would I feel the same way?

    After some soul searching, I think I would. And the new ending may free me to go in a different direction with the second book, which has been plaguing me.

  20. Constance,

    Try Wikicommons, Cliff House. That is where I get most of the photos that I have not taken myself. They are available to share without copyright infringement.

    And thanks for your support.

  21. Wow - you got a lot of differing comments. I like the risky ending too.

  22. Nina,

    I'm glad you liked it. It is amazing how many liked the old ending. However, of the people who have actually read it, just about all of them felt disappointment.


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