Monday, September 8, 2008

Endings First

If a book is a wall banger, chances are I never made it to the ending, but it’s a pretty good guess it would have been as bad as the rest of it. What I hate is when a book starts out with an incredible hook, turns into an I-can’t-put-it-down page turner, and then comes to a crashing halt with pitiful excuse for an ending. Talk about a major let down. Sometimes I get the feeling it’s because the author has spent all this time building a terrific story and either

a) she runs out of time because of an impossible deadline or

b) she nears her page limit and has to rush the ending to finish the book.

I have to wonder if it might have turned out better if the author had written the ending first and then went back and built the story up to it. I did this with my second manuscript. The black moment came to me first and I wrote the whole book around it. It was a pretty darn good book too, if I do say so myself. It got me an agent. It even got editor interest. Unfortunately, that editor wanted me to reset the majority of the book as a contemporary instead of WWII. Doing that would have required more than changing some dates and the clothes the H&H wore. It would change who the characters were, their conflict, their goals, and that wonderful black moment I had that was the catalyst for the whole book. I did a lot of soul searching on that one. I discussed it with my agent and told him what I thought the change in time period would do to the scope of the book. Though it nearly killed me, I finally decided not to do it. It wouldn’t be the same book without the ending and everything that leads up to it. Did I make the right decision? Who knows? Maybe not since I haven’t sold that book yet. But I do hope that someday the romance market will be ready for a WWII paranormal. And when it is, have I got a story with a killer ending when it does.

And, for your viewing pleasure, a scrumptious ending for the eyes. *G*


  1. I like your suggestion of finding the ending first. I just read a great book about beginnings and the author makes a similar point.

  2. Don't second guess yourself, Lori. You did the right thing. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions, but we need to stick to what our gut says.