Epilogue to the Epilogue
An update and thank you to all commenters!
Hello friends! This post is an update on my novel’s epilogue journey. Thank you for reading, commenting, and subscribing.
A paid subscription is less than a latte and tells me you appreciate my work. I appreciate you very much! 💖
My post, “The Write Choice?”, drew a ton of comments and opinions. I am so thankful for everyone who offered their thoughts!
Those comments helped me make a choice. Your insight mattered.
Do you hold off on giving your thoughts because you think it won’t matter what you say?
If you recall, I was torn about my upcoming novel’s ending. Should I leave in the intense, angsty epilogue, or create a cliffhanger ending so committed readers could get the bonus content?
I did neither. I went another way with it.
Many comments were super supportive, encouraging me to stick to my vision of the story. To tell the story how I wanted it to be and not worry.
Others said they’d be annoyed at a cliffhanger ending and wouldn’t want to do the legwork for more.
But two of my fellow authors gave me a different insight. They didn’t suggest what I should choose. Rather, they told me how the epilogue made them feel. In short, they felt betrayed as they read–they felt like they had gone from a fun, sweet romance into what might end in tragedy. And, as this was their first time reading one of my novels, they didn’t trust that I was going to give them the happily ever after.
Trust in an author. What an intriguing concept.
But we do trust authors, don’t we? We trust by opening a book that we’ll be taken into a world with a satisfying resolution. That doesn’t always mean a happy resolution, depending on the genre. But to dive into a story is to go on a journey. The author is your map-maker. You are counting on them to lead you through the proverbial forest. You know the path will be fraught at times, and that’s okay. They made the map. They know the way.
But if the ending is the scary part, then where have they led you? You’re about to return to your ordinary world, and yet suddenly you’re in a moment darker than anything that’s come next. How can you trust the author to bring it all home in just a few remaining pages?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But it’s a fair argument against the epilogue I’d constructed.
The inspiration for how to fix my quandary came from that feedback, plus some insight from the wonderful Alyssa Ostrander. Alyssa writes “Astrology for Liberation.” She is my astrologer and mentor. I respect and appreciate her insights deeply, and I think she’s a tremendous person. At the Aries Solar Eclipse, she hit me with an important message: be sure I’m not pushing ideas onto people. And, ask myself, is there more I see about how I can grow?
How could I grow from this quandary? How could I get my ideas across without punching people in the face with them?
With that, the decision was made–simply redo the scene.
When The Not So Nice Girl hits bookshelves on May 30, it will have a shiny new epilogue. This version builds on the rest of the story. It’s funnier, but it is still tense and emotional. You will laugh, hold your breath (for just a second), and definitely go “awww!”. But you won’t wonder if you’ve suddenly veered from a romcom into a tragedy.
Most importantly, you’ll still get the elements of the story I needed you to know. You’ll see how this book ties to Not Suitable for Work. You’ll remember that Sam’s brother is stubbornly single, thus setting up for the sequel to this novel. And, you’ll get more references to Saturday morning cartoons and fun 80s lingo.
I like it. It didn’t make me cry when I wrote it like the first version did, but I like it. It does what I want it to do but lets readers trust me a little more.
And, for serious fans who are dying to read both versions, I’ll sweep the old one off the cutting room floor and send it to you via my newsletter.
Thanks again for all your insights. I’ll be eager to know what you think about the change I made.
… But for that I guess you’ll have to buy the book! You can preorder it right here.