Rewriting the Ending

Yesterday I finished the first draft of my new novel and while it felt great, there was something hinky with the ending.

After spending some time watching Trashy T.V. to give my brain a rest, I rethought the ending and decided to rewrite it in the male lead’s point of view.

Magic.

Of course, rewriting fiction is easy. All you need is the delete key, but in life it isn’t so easy to rewrite the ending. Or is it?

Last week I shared with you how I decided not to let a failed relationship determine my future. I made a choice. To be happy, to appreciate what I learned from that relationship, to be in the moment with my family and not living in the past of ‘what if’.

We can do that every day with any situation.

Let’s take a movie you weren’t crazy about the ending ~ Snow White, I’m looking at you! Want the hero and heroine to get together? Close your eyes and imagine it. That’s what I did. In fact, I’m still doing it. Except, it isn’t Kristen Stewart who ends up with my Sweet Chris. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you ever read a book that left you stymied at the end? The Catcher in the Rye, anyone? Rewrite the ending any way you want. Holden finds true love! Holden becomes an astrophysicist! It’s your imagination, let it run wild.

What about in real life? What happens when something really crappy changes everything?

Rewrite the ending.

You can’t change the events that took place to make life crappy, but you can change the way you react to those changes.

See the goodness that dwells in even the darkest of moments. For there is something positive in everything. Even if all you see is failure, darkness, sadness, hopelessness, there is still a way to rewrite the ending.

It all starts with a wish. Or a dream, if you’re so inclined.

Take it from my friend Cinderella, no one can make you stop dreaming. And hey, if this chick can find the positive while living with those horrid stepsisters, there’s hope for us all.

Just remember, dreams need a nudge to happen. You can’t just sit back and wait for life to be amazing, you have to go out there and write your own story.

We all have a kickass heroine inside of us and these two women have found theirs. They both know how to rewrite an ending when life throws them a nasty surprise. Each one has had to deal with tragedy and disappointment, but they find ways to come back stronger than before. They are two women I admire very, very much.

Natalie Hartford refuses to apologize for being her super quirky, hilarious self. In this post, she tells you about Five Things She’ll Never Apologize For. It’s a riot, just like Natalie. Her blog is more than just fun and frivolity, she takes drunk driving very seriously and is always championing making our roads safer for everyone. She lost her Sweet Mamma K (Hubby’s Mom) to a drunk driver several years ago and almost lost her step son, the Dude as well. You can read Natalie’s story here. Talk about a kickass woman who chose not to let tragedy consumer her!

August McLaughlin always has an inspiring story or three on her blog, but yesterday she told about how she realized making fun of herself wasn’t such a great thing. So she chose to stop. It seems so trivial, to crack a blonde joke, but what does it really say about us as a society? Read August’s post and find out. As always, the comments were as intriguing as the post, give them a glance while you’re there.

What about you? How have you rewritten an ending? You can’t change the past, but how can you make today even better than yesterday? Share with us, we’d love to know!

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58 thoughts on “Rewriting the Ending

  1. MADE. ME. CRY!
    Thank you! I am honored to be included in this post. And when I read: “You canโ€™t change the events that took place to make life crappy, but you can change the way you react to those changes.” All I could think was AMEN SISTA!!!!!!! HELL YES!!!!!!!!!
    You nailed it. Beautifully. You are a force and an inspiration to all of us. Your generosity, joie de vivre, optimism and happiness are contagious….and make us all love and adore you!!! You are like rays of sunshine….
    Thank you for honoring me with your kindness and your friendship. You’ve made a difference in my world.
    Mwuah…love ya…HUGS!!!!

      • Thank you! Now here I feel silly because I realized this morning I’ve been reading the comments in my email and forgot to come back here to thank you. Duh.

        Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Those are the sweetest words, Natalie. It’s my honor to be your friend. I just love you and my HDSA sistas so, so much!

  2. Love love love LOVE this! Crappiocca happens, true–but you don’t have to stand there and let ’em pile it on like a shitake hat, you can DODGE and eat ice cream instead. Yeee-haw!

  3. Love the way you wrote this, Tameri. You are so right about the ending. It really is up to us. Don’t we just get so caught up in the story that we forget about the ending?

    And thanks for reminding me that I have a kickass heroine inside of me. I always forget that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Congrats on finishing another draft!
    This is spectacular advice and a topic I find myself continually discussing with my kids. I tell them they can’t help the crappy changes, but they do have control of their actions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. So true. We can all decide how to feel at any given moment. Particularly in regard to past relationships that didn’t work out, I try to let go of the hurt and look back at the happy times instead.
    Well done on finishing your novel!

    • Thanks Emma! I find it’s much nicer to look back on the good rather than get all worked up over the bad. I really wish I’d learned this earlier in life, but at least I finally learned it. Well done for you already knowing this, it will save you tons of heartache!

  6. “You can just sit back and wait for life to be amazing, you have to go out there and write your own story.” That is my new motto if you’ll let me use it. So many people, especially kids, these days, say “I’m bored.” Well get off you lazy asses and do something. Make your life fun and exciting. (In their cases they have to start at the beginning of the story before they can change the end, but you get the drift.)

    Congratulations on finishing your draft! Now, I’m off to make my life amazing! I’m going to start with a trip to Disney World, since you’ve practically gotten me there already with your literary references.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Of course you can use it, Patricia! Thank you for the wonderful compliment.

      Disney World! Oh, I miss that place. I hope you have way too much fun in Orlando. And I totally agree about the lazy asses. My kids no better than to say that… if they do, I hand them a mop and tell them they can be bored while cleaning. Haha! Such an evil mom…

  7. Congrats on finishing that first draft!!

    As for the rest of this post…FABULOUS!! โ€œYou canโ€™t change the events that took place to make life crappy, but you can change the way you react to those changes.โ€ — so, so true.

  8. I love this post, Tameri. You’ve reminded me of one of my favorite songs of all time, “Watershed,” by the Indigo Girls. A few of the lyrics: “Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road. You can stand there and agonize till your agony’s your heaviest load…. When you’re learning to face, the path at your pace, every choice is worth your while.”

    New endings make way for new beginningsโ€”one of my favorite things about life and writing.
    And you’re so right. The process is magical when we put our hearts, minds and courage into it.

    Congrats on finishing your draft! Thanks for inspiring us with it, before we’ve even read it! LOL So much love to you. Thanks also for the warm shout out and for mentioning the comments on my post. I’m continually blown away by reader/writers’ thoughts and supportโ€”yours included!

    • I love that song, August. So true, too. Courage is a big one, so much of life can be scary, but with a tiny bit of courage, we can do anything.

      Thank you so much for those words of inspiration and wisdom. Thanks also for just being awesome. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Hell, Yeah! We all have crappy moments in our lives, but it’s what we do after that experience that determines whether our lives stay crappy or get fabulous! You are an amazing example of how to make your life better, as are so many of our friends! Love the analogies–great post, Tameri!

    • I’m all about getting fabulous! Thanks so much, Marcia. You are one of those positive women I’m always looking up to and thinking, yep, she’s got it going on. Thanks for being so fabulous!

  10. I always look for ways to rewrite the endings in life that I don’t like. Three years ago a doctor suggested I stop trying to ‘come back’ from an auto accident…and start using a wheelchair. Yeah, NOT. Today, as long as I do my stretches and pool workouts, no one can tell that I was ever involved in an auto accident. It was hard work getting here, but a wheelchair isn’t an ending I could live with…and I won’t. I’ll still be getting around nicely on my own two feet when I’m 90.

    Thanks for the reminder though. There are a couple of other situations whose endings need some editing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • WOW! Kristy, that’s amazing. I love your attitude and the fact you decided the doctor wouldn’t determine your fate. That’s the power of positive thinking coupled with hard work and determination. You are my hero. Thanks for sharing this with us, perfect example of how we can rewrite any script handed to us in life.

      • Thanks, Tameri. I suspect most people are just like me (well, perhaps not as weird, but…that’s just me, lol). I think we all have it in us to change our outcomes…we just need sufficient motivation.

        And by the way…congratulations on completing your first draft! How are you feeling about it? I always expect I’ll be jumping for joy when I get to that place…but usually I feel more down than anything. I think because I know I’ll soon be saying goodbye to the characters I’ve come to love.

      • Thank, Kristy! I don’t usually have post revision depression until it’s completely done. Then I spend a day mourning the characters until I get started on something new and fall in love with a whole set of new characters. Still, I’m missing my fantasy characters, which is probably why I did a post on one of them today. I might need to start on book 2 in that series so I can reconnect with them!

  11. The desire for a different ending or a different story with the same character is the basis for a lot of fan fiction. Or for the story to not be over. (quick look at fanfiction.net already has 89 Snow White and the Huntsman stories).

    It is never too late to change.

  12. Lovely, insightful post Tameri. I have rewritten many endings both in manuscripts and in life. I’m always shocked when people stand still and let the tsunami wave of change hit them and then not do a darn thing to repair and move forward but instead decide lie on the beach and throw a tantrum. Thanks for being a kick ass friend. And here’s to writing our own happy endings!!!!!

    • What a great visual, Kate. That’s exactly what it is and I’m always so surprised to see people standing still as well. I’ll toast to us both being kick ass and writing our own happy endings, I love that!

  13. another great post Tameri. I can’t change events but I can change my reaction to them. Your words came at an opportune time because today has been one of those days…you know the kind I mean. If it could go wrong, it did. Except that’s not true. Lots went right.

    I try to remember that everything turns out great in the end. If a situation is not great yet, it’s not finished. So pick up your chin and get on with getting on louise, so you can finish strong. Today I needed your reminder.

    be well, sweet lady. thanks a bunch

    • Aw, Louise I’m so sorry you were having one of those days. I hope they got better. We all have them, but that doesn’t make them any less of a bummer. We’re here for you if you need us!

      I love what you said, ‘If a situation is not great yet, it’s not finished.’ That is so fabulous. Pick up your chin, my friend and may tomorrow be amazing. {{{{hugs}}}}

  14. Congrats, Tameri, on finishing that first draft. I just finished one as well.
    In terms of changing an ending… I spent my life dreaming that I would be a writer. Up until I turned 38 I thought that I was going to be a husband, father of two, retire at my day job and that was it. Done! However, something happened then. I decided to give it one last chance. I dusted off the manuscript and gave it another go. When I finished it, I tried finding a publisher. 18 months later I found one and have been writing, promoting and networking ever since. Apparently, I was able to change the ending that was my life, and I am forever grateful. I just turned 43 and have one novel published, another nearly thru the editing stage and am working on initial edits for a third.
    Thanks for asking.

    -Jimmy

    • Hey Jimmy! Great to see you over here on the blog. Thank you so much.

      I love, love, love that you rewrote the direction of your life. Congratulations on the draft you just finished and your published novel as well! That’s what we love to hear about. Persistence and a profound belief in yourself has led to your success, bravo my friend!

  15. Yay, you finished the draft! That means I’m thismuchcloser to being a beta reader!

    Well, you know me. I’m always thinking the glass is half full and making lemon drop martinis when Life hands me lemons. Which is not to say I don’t allow myself the brief Foot Stomp of Irritation or Tears of Extraordinary Sadness. But you can’t stay there – it’s exhausting. Better to see what you can change, even if it’s just your own attitude.

    • Yes you are! Lemondrop martinis… yum. Your positivity is one of the many things I adore about you, Gayle. Love that – Foot Stomp of Irritation. FSI for short. You are one hilarious lady. Thanks for being so awesome.

  16. Congrats on finishing your first draft. Now the fun begins. I am a third of the way through my first rewrite and my book is changing a lot through the process. This is where the characters really come to life. I plan to go through it at least 2 more before it is done. My ending? Well I wrote one, but I doubt it will resemble the finished draft… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s funny, with the fantasy I knew the ending after the first two chapters. It never changed, but the rest of the book went in some really crazy directions. Sometimes life is like that, I guess! Congrats on getting through your rewrite. I can’t wait until your book is published so we can all read it!

  17. Congrats on finishing your first draft. Have I ever rewritten an ending? Girl, I’ve rewritten my current WIP a total of 5 times. I’ve changed the ending, the beginning, cut scenes I loved, you name it. This last rewrite was the final one, for better or worse. My good friend and critique partner, Stacy Green, had some changes for me to make. I’m going to make them find some willing victims…I mean beta readers…so I can move forward. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ohmygoodness! That’s a lot of rewriting. But you know what? I bet the book is damn finer now than when you started. Good for Stacy to help you out. What’s your genre? Let’s find you some great Betas…

      • The genre is paranormal mystery. There is a romantic element, but the book is not romance.

        This is my three line pitch:

        Perri Jean Mace thought seeing dead folks sucked, but she learns owing a ghost a favor is ten times worse. Thanks to her big mouth she’s floundering around in a murder mystery, and each step closer to the truth pulls her deeper into a psychopath’s sick game. Learning how to communicate with the spirit world is almost as appealing as eating dirt, but it may be the only way Perri can avoid a fate more horrible than death.

        Maybe that’ll help you understand what it’s about a bit better than just paranormal mystery. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • That is a fantastic sounding book! Ghosts and psychopaths, that’s an interesting combination. I’ll keep an ear out for Betas who read this genre. Very, very intriguing.

  18. Congrats, congrats on finishing the first draft. You are on a roll, and I’m so happy for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You’ve given me quite a few links to go read, and I shall, and I agree with you completely about the attitude we choose to take towards adversity. It will happen, but how we face it, and absorb it, is the key. Fabulous post, Tameri!

  19. Tameri, you beautiful soul, I’m thinking you are the ultimate kick-ass heroine! You have an innate ability to find the positive in everything and articulate it with grace and hilarity … no wonder we all love you!

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  21. While you’ve been rewriting endings, I’ve been rewriting beginnings! Like Charmaine is about to do. It feels good to start fresh. It feels right. But you are right, why can’t we rewrite our endings? See it and make it so. Snow White is an excellent place to start. Who thought that was a good ending anyway? Okay. Kickass heroine powers activate!

    • Ending, beginnings, it’s all good. We need a special ring like the Wonder Twins and a cool saying to activate our Kickass Heroine Powers! Well, we don’t really need them, but that would be fun.

      Good luck with your new beginning, I bet it’s going to totally rockl

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