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!

58 thoughts on “Rewriting the Ending”

  1. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    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!!!!

    • patriciasandspatriciasands

      Natalie, how can any of us say it better than you! It’s all true, Tameri!

  2. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Oh….and CONGRATS on finishing the first draft…WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!

  3. amyshojaiamyshojai

    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!

    • MarciaMarcia

      LOL, Amy! Shitake hat! Love it!

  4. mj monaghanmj monaghan

    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˜‰

      • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

        You’re welcome. Like your kickass heroine, I have a big, green Incredible Hulk inside of me sometimes. Usually brought out when my kids leave empty packages in the refrigerator or cupboards…and I don’t discover it until I’m preparing supper. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    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™‚

  6. EmmaEmma

    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!

  7. jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

    “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

  8. Raelyn BarclayRaelyn Barclay

    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.

  9. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    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!

  10. MarciaMarcia

    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!

  11. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    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™‚

  12. asraidevinasraidevin

    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.

  13. Kate MacNicolKate MacNicol

    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!!!!!

  14. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    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

  15. James Garcia JrJames Garcia Jr

    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

  16. Gayle CarlineGayle Carline

    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.

  17. susielindaususielindau

    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™‚

  18. Catie RhodesCatie Rhodes

    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˜€

  19. Bridgette BoothBridgette Booth

    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!

  20. patriciasandspatriciasands

    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!

  21. charmaineclancycharmaineclancy

    I’m actually about to rewrite a beginning, but I absolutely know what you mean ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Debra KristiDebra Kristi

    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!

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