Sometimes You Need To Look Back To Move Forward

One of the things that came out of my brainstorming session with the editors last week was a complete change in how I’m ending my epic tale.

Yep. You read that right.

Once we started really firming up the rules of this universe I’d invented, and the way the characters behaved within the confines of those rules, I had to face one big, immutable truth:

I had set up my story from my protagonist’s point of view and then planned to snatch it away from her at the last minute and hand it over to somebody else in the story.

It was going to have been an amazing plot twist, one guaranteed to make people smack their foreheads and say “Wow!”

It just didn’t work. And it didn’t work because I needed to stay true to my story, all the way to the end. I needed to see this thing through with Jessa.

I’ll admit, I was flabbergasted at first. This was my ending! My ending, for Pete’s sake! The big mother-of-all-reveals that was going to utterly blindside my readers and leave them gasping. What was I going to do now?

I regrouped, gathered my thoughts, and remembered back.

“You know,” I said, “originally, I’d intended the ending to go like this…”

And I proceeded to detail out the alternate ending I’d started with – the one I tossed aside because I thought it wasn’t as epic and both my editors jumped in their seats and said, “Yes! That’s it! I like that!”

Then the hamster in my brain woke up and started running on the wheel that powers my soggy gray-matter, and I started to see the myriad of ways I could build to that new ending – the nuances I could add in that would make not only my protagonist but my story that much richer.

I’m excited now. It was hard letting go of that big hook, but it’s giving me a better book. And it’s not really lost…maybe I’ll keep that on a backburner and use it in a future book somewhere down the line with another character. All’s fair in love and writing, right?

One step back leads to great leaps forward!

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