I’m getting to a very exciting point in my next novel to be published, Lucky Portbraddon; I’ve been tidying up the last few inconsistencies, omissions; excising repetitions, adding explanations, checking those easily missed errors of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and inexplicable use of completely the wrong word… muddles and confusions… the sorts of thing readers spot in about two nanoseconds but which I manage to miss in all the hours of editing…
I have sent the document to my Kindle, and I am going to read it on my device, just as a reader would. There are several advantages to this – it gives me a more objective view of the things I mentioned above, and I can spot them more easily; I can see how it looks on the page which shows if the paragraphs are too long or the conversations go on beyond what is readable (and become boring); I can get a better feel for chapters and if I’ve composed them in the best way – and in some cases where there are back-story sequences, if they are in the right order; I can have a feel for the story as a whole and for the pace of it… and I can decide on which ending to choose…
Yes, at the moment there are two endings! Without giving the game away and spoiling it for you if you should read it, one ending takes the reader back to where the story started, the old family home high on the moors, exactly a year after the story started. The other ending ties up the relationship between two of the characters – but leaves it open for the reader to decide what might happen to them next.
Ending 1: the story is about a family; families continue with their relationships with each other, even if they are fractured because they are related and can never not be! The Portbraddon family have an almost Mafia like bond and loyalty to each other, ‘family is family’, ‘family first’, ‘it’s family’ are continual refrains. They aren’t a criminal gang, but they stick together through thick and thin, even if they don’t like each other, even if they hate each other. So with this ending, despite all the ups and all the downs, the betrayals, the fallings out, the hurt and the upset, they come together at Christmas in the old family house. This might seem like a recipe for disaster – but the point is, they want their children and grandchildren to remain united, so the ‘adults’ must overcome their personal difficulties. It seemed to complete the story to bring them back to where the narrative began, and I hope it seems a realistic thing that this family would do.
Ending 2: as above but whereas ending 1 has the last of the cousins arriving and being welcomed in by another who is happily engaged to the woman he has loved for years and is looking forward to a wonderful life with her, this ending has an additional scene. There has been a thread running through the story of two people who are attracted to each other but for various reasons don’t come together. In this last scene they have a conversation which I hope resolves their dilemma to a certain extent, and yet leaves it open – life is very rarely neatly tied up with a happy-ever-after solution to difficulties and problems… and so it is here. I hope the reader will feel satisfied – otherwise they might close the book thinking ‘But what happens to so-and-so and so-and-so?’. Here they have an answer, but it is not a neat solution because the story ends, and as in real life, no-one knows what will happen next. This isn’t a happy ending for them, but it’s not an unhappy one either, and I hope it is realistic, and will allow the reader to work out what happens next in the future of these two.
Now I have to decide… but I have to read the whole book first… by which time, maybe it is obvious!
Here is a link to my other e-novels: