Write On! Wednesday: Alternate Endings Back to Blog

Recently, I watched the movie Possession with Sarah Michelle Gellar (you may know her better as Buffy). I’d been wanting to watch this movies for ages, but the release date kept getting pushed back. (Why? Why did you torment me that way, Hollywood?)

But I finally watched the movie and was a bit…well, thrown off by the ending that played out.

Lucky for me, there was an alternate ending available.  So I thought–hey, what the heck? And I watched that alternate.  And I LOVED it.  (Note to all the Hollywood folks that I am totally sure are checking out this blog: You should have gone with the alternate ending!)

Now, of course, this alternate ending got me to thinking about different endings that could be available for books. When I start writing, I often create alternate beginnings. Usually, I’ll write at least 2 versions to start a book, then I’ll go with the one that flows the best for me.  But I have never written an alternate ending for a book.  The lives of the characters can change so easily–one scene flipped, one scene deleted, one new drama thrown in–and everything can change.

Hmmm…alternate endings.

I’ve watched plenty of  movies and thought–oh, I want a different ending! (Sandra Bullock’s Premonition comes to mind here.) But I haven’t read a book that I thought should end differently. At least, not a romance book. Romances guarantee us a happy ending, so perhaps the alternate ending isn’t needed as much with them.  Perhaps. What do you think?  Have you read any books that you felt truly needed an alternate ending?

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4 responses to “Write On! Wednesday: Alternate Endings”

  1. Edie says:

    I liked the ending of Premonition. The ending of The Departed made me hate it. I think it won the Best Picture for that year, too, but it actually made me angry.

    I tend to read books with happy or at least hopeful endings. So no complaints. For mine, I usually write more than one beginning, but the right ending (I hope) seems to come when I get there, the one where I can’t imagine a different ending.

  2. Willa says:

    Hmmm . . well I for one read romance for the happy ending but sometimes an author likes to branch out into more mainstream novels and so you unsuspectingly pick up their book, thinking you are going to get more of the same and then get knocked back on your butt. Cos’ it looks like a romance, sounds like a romance, is written by a romance author and even *reads* like a romance . . . and then they kill off one of the primary characters.

    Sandra Brown did it with one of her Westerns and so did Barbara Delinsky – couldn’t get both books out of the house fast enough and have never read these authors since.

    Oh and JR Ward pulled that too in one of hers – forget the name and then had the character resurrected as a ghost. Pluuuuease! That was the end of that series for me.

    I think most authors do a pretty good job of the ending in the romance genre – they end up happy and together *sigh*

  3. Michele says:

    I am so with Willa, the famous one for me was JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The character you are thinking of is Jane who was hooked up with Vishous. And I was really into that series, but not anymore :(

  4. Jesse is a real jerk to cheat on someone so kind and excellent as Sandra. What goes around comes around!