I received an encouraging e-mail the other day from one of my young fans named Lucy. Along with some very sweet comments, Lucy had some questions for me:
“…when I read your post, “The Tales of Larkin Ending That Didn’t Happen,” I was wondering:
. What was your original ending?
. Who were you going to make die?
. Who did you add in instead? Was it Turk?”
I see by Lucy’s questions that I failed to include enough detail to satisfy some of you hard-core Larkin fans. So for all of you inquiring minds who want to know, I shall enlighten you.
When I originally thought out the story line for my first book, Tales of Larkin: Hawthorn’s Discovery, I had planned that, after the rescue of Hawthorn’s friends from the Renegade slave mine, they would all run for safety to the Makerian stronghold at Stillwaters, but the Renegades pursued them. I had intended to write a very exciting chase scene with maybe a few brave heroes trying to slow down the enemy warriors. Although it was going to be “nail-biting close,” the good guys were going to make it to Stillwaters ahead of the Renegades. I was then going to have the Renegades bring their whole army against the Makerians at Stillwaters and have a climactic battle there.
As I explained in my last blog post, I had also intended that one of the main characters was going to face the tragic end of his life in order to teach my children how a godly person faced death. It’s been so long that I don’t remember who I was going to “bump off.” I think it was going to be Tobin or Charlock. The problem was that my children got wind of my “evil” plan and began this intense lobbying campaign to save one of their favorite characters.
While my children were occupied with trying to save Tobin (or Charlock), I decided to invent a new character to bring into the story to become my designated victim. As Lucy (and probably several of you) guessed, it was Turk. The trick was to work Turk into the story but to bring about his demise before my children had a chance to get very attached to him. I didn’t succeed very well in this, because when I read the part where Turk dies to my family for the first time, almost everyone cried–including me.
Because I had to include Turk in the story, it changed how the plot played out. Small changes led to other changes, which led to still other changes. Pretty soon my original ending was just too awkward and difficult to fit. So I wound up just letting the story tell itself as I wrote it. As it turned out, I like the ending that I wrote better than the ending that I had planned.
If any of you have any other questions, just send me a comment, and I will be happy to address them.
May God’s blessings be on each of you,