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June 13, 2014

Alternate Ending to Hurricane Crimes


AUTHORS NOTE: No need to worry about any spoilers, as this doesn’t reveal anything that happens in the story and can easily lead into the beginning of Hurricane Crimes.


Unedited Alternate Ending:

Beth woke in the middle of her bed, beneath her sage green comforter. Sleep paralysis consumed her limbs. She blinked once, twice while her brain fought out of the fog of her dream.

God, it had felt so real. Donovan had seemed so real.

Slowly, her arms and legs revived from their stupor. She eased out of bed and shuffled into the bathroom to steam the false memory of Donovan from her mind. After she dressed, she moved through the house to the living room. The roof above her head was whole, there was no water on the ground, and the windows were letting in the October sun.

She plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV to the morning news. The weather report was on. She listened to it while she went into the kitchen to prepare a cup of coffee.

“The National Weather Service upgraded the tropical depression to a category 3 hurricane overnight, making it the nineteenth storm of the year—Hurricane Sabrina.”

Beth dropped her mug, shattering it and spilling coffee onto the kitchen floor. She rushed into the living room, and stared at the TV with wide eyes. On the screen was an image of Florida, and in the Atlantic Ocean was the swirling mass of a hurricane.

The weatherman continued his report, “Hurricane Sabrina is gaining strength and is on a fast track to Florida. The National Weather Service predicts it’ll hit land as a category 5 in just four days.”

Her jaw dropped as her dream flooded back to her.

“Donovan . . .”

THE END



Why did I take this part out of the book? Because after I read it through I thought having it all a dream ruined the whole story. And I didn’t want to upset any readers who enjoyed it by telling them, “Well, guess what? It didn’t happen.” I certainly would’ve been upset as a reader and screaming, “WHAT?! It was all a dream?? That sucks! One star! ONE STAR!!!” haha


QUESTION: Do you think I made the right call by cutting out this ending?


34 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

lol yeah the dream route sure does upset many, best to avoid it lol

Chrys Fey said...

I thought so. lol

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think the dream could make a reader feel cheated. Good call.

L. A. Kelley said...

Absolutely. The 'it was only a dream' scenario is a stale cliche, the last refuge for a poor storyteller. I read your book and liked the original ending.

cleemckenzie said...

Short answer. Yes. Making it all a dream is like taking the candy back.

Annalisa Crawford said...

The it-was-just-a-dream thing always makes me think of Bobby Ewing in Dallas - a whole season that never really happened! Quite brazen of them really, but had a lot of people throwing cushions at the TV when he stepped out of that shower!

debi o'neille said...

There's no debating--you made the right call. I recently critiqued someone's work that didn't seem half bad, until it was revealed that I'd just spend two hours reading some character's very detailed dreamed. I was NOT a happy reader. :-) (but I was nice, though constructively honest, in how I relayed my thoughts.)
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Sandra Dailey said...

You know how much I love this story. I wouldn't want anything different. Good choice.

Lisa Thomson said...

Actually, I'm torn. In some ways I agree that it might have been frustrating to think the story was a dream. On the other hand, I love when a character has premonitions. I think you made the right call, in the big picture of your story. Nice work, Chrys!

Chrys Fey said...

I agree. Thanks for reading, Susan! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! I don't know why, when I was writing it, I thought it would be cool. I know well enough to avoid cliches.

Chrys Fey said...

It certainly is. Thanks for reading, Clee! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I bet it did! I even hate the-it-was-a-dream scenario, so I can't quite figure out why I wrote it the first place.

Chrys Fey said...

I like to hear that. I know it bothers me as a reader, too.

Chrys Fey said...

That makes me feel good knowing that. Thank you so much, Sandra! :D

Chrys Fey said...

The premonition is exactly what I was going for. I originally wanted my readers to think, "Oh my God! Will Beth find him? Will she prevent of all this from happening?" But after I read it through myself, I felt I had to take it out because it didn't do that for me. It disappointed me instead. And, of course, I don't want to disappoint my readers.

Kimberly said...

I think you made the right call too! I've heard this from others about endings like this and I would probably feel the same way. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Great! I'm so happy I chose the right ending. :)

emaginette said...

Yes, never disappoint your reader :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Chrys Fey said...

And I hope I never do. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I love the twist of learning something's all a dream at the end of a story, but I guess we've all learned that fans feel cheated when a story does that.

Gina Stoneheart said...

I'm glad you decided to not go the dream route, Chrys. Although I did enjoy much of the descriptive language you used here.. "Sleep paralysis consumed her limbs" and "October sun." Great writing!!

Chrys Fey said...

I usually love that twist too, but in this case I felt cheated, and I wrote it! haha

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for the lovely compliment, Gina! :D

EEGiorgi said...

Dreams can be iffy in fiction as they make little sense in reality and as we all know, fiction needs to make sense even when reality doesn't ;-)

Chrys Fey said...

You're absolutely right!

Robyn Campbell said...

I think you made the RIGHT choice. You NEVER want to cheat your readers (especially when that reader is you). You write so well, you don't want a dream to ruin YOUR dream. :-) *waves*

cleemckenzie said...

My pleasure. Hope to see this one out and about.

Arlee Bird said...

Right call. Dream endings are usually a bad idea. But I'm not the first to say it.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Chrys Fey said...

No, you're certainly not the first to say it. I say it, too, although there has been a time or two when I enjoyed the dream ending.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Robyn. I feel I made the right choice, too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Hurricane Crimes is available on Amazon. I'm currently writing the sequel. :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Dream endings are frowned upon by a many a fan :) me included. I always feel kinda cheated. The only movie that I didn't was in Wizard of Oz LOL :)

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, Wizard of Oz is about the only movie that can get away with it! lol