Do you play the game I play? When I read a novel, I ask myself from time to time, where would I go with this story, if I were the author? What would happen next? How would it end?
Writers can never just read a book, can they?
When I read (or rather, listened to the audio of) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I spent the final third of the book trying to figure out how Katniss Everdeen should resolve the love triangle woven into her story. Should she turn to the left, or to the right?
She did neither, and I enjoyed one of those satisfying moments that begin in disappointment, and end in Of Course! It couldn't have worked out any other way.
But truly, it could have. I'd spend a good deal of time devising lots of other ways things could have gone - though none of them would have been as good. One mark of a great ending is that it seems inevitable, though unexpected.
Still, my novel, To Dance in the Desert could have ended in a wedding.
Patti's Queen of Sleepy Eye could have ended in a double wedding.
Sharon's novel, Lying on Sunday could have ended in a murder.
Debbie's Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon could have ended with the child switched at birth being sent to a foster home.
Bonnie's Talking to the Dead could have ended with Kate leaning into the winds of life, a solitary figure in the dark - aren't you glad it didn't end that way?
Latayne's Latter Day Cipher could have ended with a Bang that would have said so much less than the whimper.
Maybe there's a book you've read that you would have written another way, if you'd been the author. Please, do tell. We want details.
We love to read what you have to say.