How Do You Get to The End

I hit 50,000 words yesterday.  I know, I know, I’m the slowest writer ever.

Here’s my problem:  I have two different ways to end the story and I honestly don’t know which one is right.

My plan is to write the one I’ve started, beta it around, and then determine if I should take the story a different direction.  Sometimes my CPs will slap me and say, “It can’t end like this.  You left XYZ too loose, you didn’t tie off this thread.”

That’s just one of the many reasons, I love my CPs. 

Do your stories have alternate endings?  How do you decide which one is best?


  • William Kendall

    I decided early on that I’d end with a conversation between three of my characters. I also knew that I wouldn’t know what would be said in that conversation until I actually get there and write it. It’s close now, so I’ll either have to decide quickly who says what, or improvise entirely.

    You could decide it with a high stakes game of eenie meanie miney mo….

  • Jess

    When in doubt, quit procrastinating and kill them off. Who’s them, you say? Well, Becky, I think you know the answer to that.

    Just kidding, I’m just messing with you. January 23 is nuuuuuuuddddddgggge day (*lifts hands in manner of spooky threatening critique ghost*)

  • Jess

    Hmm. A house explosion could be too predictable~ maybe a pseudo-happy ending, followed by mass food poisoning from McDonalds? McDonalds might sue, and that would get your book even more attention!

  • Becky Wallace

    @Redleg: But who killed the ferret? (No…there isn’t really a ferret in my story but maybe I’ll add one. Everyone likes ferrets. Or hamsters. Basically cageable rodents.)

    @Jess: Yes! I will be the first writer to sell a series that jumps genres for every book. Genius!

  • Laura C.

    No, the crown of slowest writer ever is MINE, MINE, ALL MINE! Mwuhahahaaa!

    Seriously, I’ve been working since Sept and just broke 38k. Like you, I have two possible endings. Or rather, two possible villains. I’m not sure which one will be the brains behind the evil plot, so I’m waiting to see what pans out as I go.

    Congrats on hitting 50k! That’s no small accomplishment. 😀

  • Becky Wallace

    @Laura: We’ll have to rule the Kingdom of Slow together! I started Siren in April. Granted, I revised one novel, had a baby, and wrote 12k on another novel, but still…it’s been nine months! Ugh. Kicks myself.

  • William Kendall

    The butler kills everyone in the final act. The end.

    Wait, there was no butler in the book? No problem, just bring him in and say he was up in the attic looking for skis. Then have him attack everyone with a cleaver.

  • Carrie Butler

    Which ending makes you ache when it’s over? That’s how I decide. I like to be nervous throughout the last third or fourth of the book, but I want to breathe a sigh of relief (even if it’s only temporary) at the end. Ten minutes later, I want to regret that the book is over–that I have to leave the book’s world and return to mine. Anyhoo, good luck with your decision! 🙂

    Good luck! 🙂

  • Laura C.

    “…I revised one novel, had a baby, and wrote 12k on another novel…”
    That’s it? That’s all you did? Slacker.
    Meanwhile, I’m lying on the divan, eating bob-bons, and contemplating a title for my next novel. Maybe later I’ll wash my hair…

  • Lindsay N. Currie

    Hehe. . . your CP’s love it too:) So, I think this is a great way to handle it – try one and you can always be working on a different one in a sep. doc while the MS is being read, you know? Looking forward to the great ending debate of 2012!

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