The Endings You Don't Expect #IWSG

Happy August! Hope you're all doing well. Going to get right to the IWSG question of the month:

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Ah yes, the ending I never saw coming. I'm pretty sure I wrote about this here back when it was happening...or maybe soon after I recovered from it. The year was 2013, and I was getting lots of push-back from my publisher during the editing of my angel story.

I dealt with the blows as they came and made the edits, overall feeling like the process was going well. Nothing important to me was lost, and I knew my editor was helping me better speak to a romance-reading audience. But then, after telling myself repeatedly that it was all going to be okay, at the 11th hour, I received a HUGE, dastardly email from the small pub's owner.

She explained that the book's publishing "team"---of which I was apparently not a part---had decided that I needed to completely rewrite the ending. My lead had to end up with SOMEBODY TOTALLY DIFFERENT! It wasn't a suggestion. It was a demand.

I will always be grateful that my daughter had pink eye that day.

Her doctor appointment kept me from firing back a response while I was still hot. The drive to the clinic helped me consider possibilities for making a new ending work. My quiet time with nothing to do in the waiting room allowed me to noodle through the specifics.

By the time we got home and popped the drops into my daughter's eyes, I was itching to start typing it all out. Rather than fight a losing battle with the publisher, my energies were redirected toward crafting a new ending that I'm actually pretty happy with.

Sometimes the weeds bear pretty flowers. 

Though...if ever I get my rights back and republish, I will totally pull a "choose your own ending" and include both the original ending and the new.

How about you---have you ever been thrown for
a writing loop that ended up working out for the best?

This post is part of the:

Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. This wonderful group for writers was begun by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavannaugh.

This month's awesome co-hosts:


Jennifer Lane said...

Ugh. Sorry you had to go through that. I would love to read the REAL ending! Such a good book.

Sarah Foster said...

That must have been horrible! I'm glad you were able to come up with an ending you were happy with. I think my brain would freeze if someone told me I had to do that.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh for pink eye! Okay, that sounds weird but you know what I mean. It kept you from possibly making a huge mistake, burning bridges etc.

Including both endings in the future? Fun!

Tamara Narayan said...

Wow. It's great that you were able to rewrite the ending to the publisher's demands, but a shame you preferred your own ending. But it's always a good idea not to respond to bad situations in anger. That usually makes things worse.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, a totally new ending? That's huge. Good time you had time to think before reacting.

Karen Baldwin said...

Haha, cute way you used your daughter's pink eye incident. I love the idea of choosing the ending. Not having a publisher, I am on my own with choosing which ending works best.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love the "Choose Your Own Adventure" approach.

I have learned no matter what, wait to respond to emails. Otherwise I am likely to shoot something off that I'll regret.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that you could step back and see how the changes could be good for your story. I find that things work out for the best all the time.

Janie Junebug said...

I remember when the big change occurred. I read the original ending and liked it just as much as the rewritten ending.


dolorah said...

One of my first publications did that to me. I swear I wrote a novella during the revisions. But, I wasn't unhappy with the new ending. Getting the story published was rewarding, but getting there taught me a lot about the editing process, and editors in general.

F. Stone said...

Loved your novel, Nicki. All of them, in fact. When the publisher/editors accepted my first novel's ending, that was surprising. I was expecting push back as it was rather bizarre. I was looking for your Vibrazzio.

Olga Godim said...

Once, a small publisher accepted my novel, but after that, things got tricky. My editor didn't like my heroine and demanded I changed her. Not just the ending, but the personality of the main character. I refused, and the contract was broken. Later, another publisher accepted my story and published it with only minor editing.
I guess it depends on how strongly you feel about the required changes. Sometimes, the editor's demands are justified, but other times, they just reflect her personal preferences.

-blessed b9, Catalyst4Christ said...

True, you wont expect your death -
nobuddy does... yet, the rewards
are outta, this, world, baby. Literally.
You willing to step-up-to-the-plate??
God bless you.