Ok, so I thought I knew what I was doing...
I recently posted a new story 'Infinity' both here and on Nifty. My original idea for the story was a far cry from what I ultimately prooduced. I was a little unsure of the end product, but sometimes the muse gets what she wants and not necessarily what I planned.
I was so up in the air about this story that after I got it back from my editor, I re-wrote the last line of dialog and I added the very last line of the story. I thought both made the story better, but I broke my own rule for any re-writes, I did not re-read the whole story.
I literally made these changes as I was posting the story here and submitting it to Nifty.
I was thrilled to get some great reviews almost immediately. And when it posted to Nifty, the next day, I started receiving great e-mails from my usual group of fans there as well.
But, I started noticing something in the reviews and in the e-mails. It wasn't until I received an e-mail from one fan in particular that I went back and re-read the whole story and realized what I had done.
When i had re-written that last line of dialog and written that last line of the story, I had made it the ending much more 'fluid' then what I had planned.
Many people who were reading the story believed that Finn, the character who spent the story in a coma, had awakened long enough to profess his love for Jack and then died. They were writing me these heartfelt letters of praise, because just allowing Finn and Jack this closure was a 'great' thing. Giving two people in love a chance to say their 'final goodbye'.
I would love to say that I was this brilliant, but to me Finn was alive. That had always been my intention, that Finn had awoken professed his love for Jack and they lived 'happily ever after'. The end.
But after re-reading the story, I saw how things could be interpreted either way.
Plus, a lot of people wanted me to continue the story.
So, I guess now I am thoroughly confused. My original intent was to write a series of Holiday themed stories to plug into the spaces between my long 'Riding Lessons' books.
However, when I finished 'Infinity' (not even the original name I wanted to use). I had given up on that original idea and decided that this was a one chapter Christmas story and everything that I had to say had been said as far as Jack and Finn were concerned.
If Finn was alive, as I had always intended, then the boys had their happy ending and I was done.
But, if Finn had not survived and he had awoken just long enough to profess his love for Jack, then that opened a whole lot of possibilities for me.
I know where Jack's story goes from there. I know what happens next, but if I write that story...do I spoil the original story for everyone who read it the way that I had originally intended. Do I 'wreck' their happy ending?
So, I guess, I am posing that question to my readers.
Do you want things left as they are...however you are interpreting the ending of 'Infinity'...or do you want that story to continue with Jack alone?
I'm not promising to write the next chapter, I just want to get an idea of how people feel before I even invest the time and energy. I'm happy with the status quo and I like the idea that I have for Jack's next chapter, but I don't want to ruin anyone's happy ending either.
I have a young friend, who does not like sad stories...he only likes happy endings...I keep trying to explain to him that the pain we get handed in life often leads to our happy endings...am I right?
On a more personal note...I am looking for a couple of 'Beta Readers' for my next book in the 'Riding Lessons' series. I have a couple people now who I share chapters with, but since they have become friends....they tend to 'love' everything I send them...I'm looking for soem readers who will tell me exactly what they think...the good, the bad and the tacky...I don't promise to change a single word , but I do promise to listen to every critique openly. If you are interested, shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com or im me here. I only need two or three people. Thanks.