Friday, 9 July 2010

When your characters change your ending

As I've mentioned before on my travel blog, I spend part of my time in Oxford. Well, I'm back up there again and working hard on a novel partially set in the city. It's been a backburner project for a year now as I've finished a horror novel, lost a writing contest, and traveled to Africa. Now I'm back at it.

Unfortunately, the first thing I realized when I set back to work was that the ending was impossible. Not bad, not trite (although it was a bit of that) but impossible. The characters as they have developed in my mind and through the course of the story would not have the interaction that would lead to the ending I had planned.

Oh crap, it was one of the best scenes in the book! But as Stephen King says, "You got to kill your babies" and this is one baby I have to kill.

So how does my novel end? I have no clear idea. I think I'll leave it up to my characters. They got me into this mess, so it's their responsibility to get me out of it.

1 comment:

Tahlia said...

Go for it. I love it when the characters change the direction into unexpected areas. I figure that if I didn't come up with it, then the reader is more likely to be surprised too.

If you're interested in YA fantasy, you might like to take a look at ch1 of at my new novel, 'Lethal Inheritance’. You’ll find it at
I’d love to know what you think.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.