The whole time I’ve been rewriting Ready for Air, I assumed it would end the same way my first draft ended. I mean, there is a whole narrative thread that leads to—no, demands—this particular ending to my story.
There was a problem, though. I’ve had several readers—one of them an editor who wanted the book (really wanted it—damn her editorial board!)—who suggested that this narrative thread should be cut from the book. I’ve been told that it’s distracting. I’ve been told that it needs its own book!
But I wasn’t ready to part with it. I felt it gave more texture to my character; I felt it offered necessary contrast to the claustrophobic urgency of the NICU. In the rewrite, I’ve pared it down a bit, but I haven’t been willing to chuck it completely. Because, well, how would the book end, then? I love the ending, and I couldn’t bear the thought of kicking its legs out from under it.
But this very morning I woke with a different ending simmering at the edges of my consciousness. A different ending!
I don’t know if it will work yet. I have to sit with it a while, let it percolate as I make my way closer and closer to the final pages. And when I get to there I hope I’ll know—I have to know, right?—which ending will best serve the book.
I would keep my fingers crossed, but then it would be difficult to type. And I still have lots of work to do. So will your cross your fingers for me? Send me perfect-ending vibes?