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 Post subject: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:49 pm 
Way Beyond Godly
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I'm not sure if it's in the book or not, but in several versions of the Little Princess movie, Sara Crewe closes the book during her turn at reading a novel and chooses to make up her own ending of the story because she thinks it's more interesting.

I sometimes do this as well, and I was just wondering if anyone else ever does this, because my family and friends think it's very odd. (Note: I don't usually stop reading it, but I'll end up misremembering the ending and filling in one that fits better to me.) Sometimes it's a conscious thing (if I really hate the ending), but usually it's subconscious -- I'll often end up dreaming about the book I'm reading and continue the story where I left off (which is really bad when I'm trying to stay up to finish the book). When it's from a dream, my extra details could occur at any point in the story, really.

Here are a couple of examples:

1) the end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy
Somehow I really believed 10 years after reading the books that in the end, Frodo had to cut off his own finger in a quick act because he couldn't remove the ring (I did remember his struggle with Gollum, too, but thought he cut it off when he realized Gollum might take it). I think this is an example of a dreamed ending.

2) the end of the manga Banana Fish
This is one of the conscious choice ones -- I thought it was terrible that the author chose to kill one of the characters and so chose to pretend that that scene just didn't happen.


There are numerous poems/songs/etc. where I remember a slightly different version, too. So am I really that weird? Or does anyone else ever imagine extra scenes/different scenes in their books?

P.S. I'd have made this a poll but just realized I don't know how... and I'm late for a meeting so don't have time to figure it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:48 am 
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I have for books and movies, too, if the ending is sad or unsatisfying. Harry Potter, for example, I didn't like the ending, so I imagined my own.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:27 am 
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My mother has an annoying habit of asking me how movies end. She saw the first two LOTR movies but never saw the third. After I saw it in theatres, she asked me how it ended.
I told her that Frodo went evil and decided to keep the ring and tried to kill Sam, so Sam ran and tackled Frodo into the lava, killing them both.

She believed me at the time, but I'm sure someone's straightened her out since :P


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:51 pm 
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I have thought of doing it but forsome reason I can't stop myself from reading and I then finish the book and don't think about making an ending. I promise to do this with the book I'm currently reading called 'Here, There be Dragons'


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:27 am 
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I think of how things may turn out, and I wish some things could have gone better. But I never pretend as if something didn't happen. I believe in truth, and once you start messing with that, it goes into realms I don't wish to think about, because it's pointless. Like talking of an alternate reality, when the only one which should matter is this one. Biggest example of wanting and needing a sense of reality comes from "Hot Gimmick", which at the end of the manga it's mentioned the author intended to write a novel of the events...with a different ending. I found it repulsive, because I liked what I read in the manga and connected with it. What was the point of it all if you're going to say "oh wait, that didn't really happen". Also, which reality is the real one when it's said and done?


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:55 am 
Way Beyond Godly
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Jacob wrote:
I think of how things may turn out, and I wish some things could have gone better. But I never pretend as if something didn't happen. I believe in truth, and once you start messing with that, it goes into realms I don't wish to think about, because it's pointless. Like talking of an alternate reality, when the only one which should matter is this one. Biggest example of wanting and needing a sense of reality comes from "Hot Gimmick", which at the end of the manga it's mentioned the author intended to write a novel of the events...with a different ending. I found it repulsive, because I liked what I read in the manga and connected with it. What was the point of it all if you're going to say "oh wait, that didn't really happen". Also, which reality is the real one when it's said and done?

Well, the thing with fiction is that it isn't truth -- it's all make-believe. But yeah, I hate when the author tries to pull that on you -- whether it was "it was all a dream" or "I just made my life seem better" (the last episode of Roseanne). But truthfully, there is no "real reality" in fiction, and so I don't feel bad about changing it to suit my own taste within my own head. I guess since my brain has already filled in a myriad of other random details, I just extend it and let it occasionally change the externally supplied details to suit itself; after all, mostly I read fiction for my own enjoyment, and so if I'm dissatisfied with what the author has made, why not make it so I can enjoy it better for myself?

It's rare that my alternative actually takes over my memory of what was in the book. I still know the author's ending to the manga I mentioned. But I was able to calm down by telling myself it wasn't real, and then allowing myself to imagine the alternative I would have preferred (ironically, books do seem very real to me, and so I get really emotionally invested -- but I guess it's real like a dream is, where my mind can change it mid-course).


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:16 am 
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Siniri wrote:
Jacob wrote:
I think of how things may turn out, and I wish some things could have gone better. But I never pretend as if something didn't happen. I believe in truth, and once you start messing with that, it goes into realms I don't wish to think about, because it's pointless. Like talking of an alternate reality, when the only one which should matter is this one. Biggest example of wanting and needing a sense of reality comes from "Hot Gimmick", which at the end of the manga it's mentioned the author intended to write a novel of the events...with a different ending. I found it repulsive, because I liked what I read in the manga and connected with it. What was the point of it all if you're going to say "oh wait, that didn't really happen". Also, which reality is the real one when it's said and done?

Well, the thing with fiction is that it isn't truth -- it's all make-believe. But yeah, I hate when the author tries to pull that on you -- whether it was "it was all a dream" or "I just made my life seem better" (the last episode of Roseanne). But truthfully, there is no "real reality" in fiction, and so I don't feel bad about changing it to suit my own taste within my own head. I guess since my brain has already filled in a myriad of other random details, I just extend it and let it occasionally change the externally supplied details to suit itself; after all, mostly I read fiction for my own enjoyment, and so if I'm dissatisfied with what the author has made, why not make it so I can enjoy it better for myself?

It's rare that my alternative actually takes over my memory of what was in the book. I still know the author's ending to the manga I mentioned. But I was able to calm down by telling myself it wasn't real, and then allowing myself to imagine the alternative I would have preferred (ironically, books do seem very real to me, and so I get really emotionally invested -- but I guess it's real like a dream is, where my mind can change it mid-course).
Well, let's pretend World War II never happened. Or if it did, it was merely a diplomatic dispute. Wait, that's a real life occurrence, which makes it wrong to even conceive. Of course, people actually do this, even in fiction with hilarious results (Hitler attacking Trunks and Goten of Dragon Ball Z with tanks). Or to put this back into the focus of book endings, what if Romeo and Juliet ended differently?
Instead of Romeo killing himself over Juliet, he just continues to cry, and she eventually wakes up. The couple runs off into the sunset, never to be seen again, whilst those behind try to make sense of things.

To those who know how it really ended, do you think I do William shame if I accepted that as reality? It ended as it did because that's the point. That was the message. To believe it didn't happen would be to miss it completely.

My concern is knowing and excepting the reality of things, even if they are tragic and painful to know. There are events and actions I wish could have gone through with stories. But I would never go so far as to say it didn't happen and isn't true, and make up my own version to fit my piece of mind. I can create alternate concepts as to what I would have preferred, and usually do do that. But I never forget the reality of what something is. That would do honesty and reality a disservice, especially if I'm relying such information to another. I enjoy Fan Fiction, as long as the readers remember that it's a lie.

Don't mind me. Just a pet peeve I seem to have discovered. What is real is very important to me. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Well, Jacob, I think we're in agreement there. As I said, I usually still know the "real" ending, and don't try to convey my fake one to anyone else -- it's just for my own satisfaction. The LOTR case is an exception, but I don't think I purposely changed the ending in my mind in that case -- I'm pretty sure I dreamt how it would happen while falling asleep reading, and somehow over a decade (mind you, I didn't really think about it in all that time), my memory got tainted.

Memories do get tainted, and it's not the fault of that person -- it happens to all of us, as we try to make sense of things; it's a subconscious process. But usually my games of "what-if's" are merely fantastical imaginings of alternatives (like fan-fic); I don't deliberately try to supplant memories. When I think of Banana Fish now, I think, gosh what a great manga turned sad with a sucky, sucky ending. Although I can understand why the mangaka chose to end it that way, I'm still entitled to think it sucked.

Similarly, there are those who don't like Romeo and Juliet. Ironically, Shakespeare himself was more of a re-writer than a writer, and he took considerable liberties in changing the "realities" of various stories (as you mentioned, many other writers do the same -- to both real events and others' works of fictions). Maybe it's because I'm also a writer that I let my imagination explore other alternative paths of the story. But yes, I do try to remember the author's "own" intentions as the "reality" of the story.

P.S. Thanks for starting this fascinating discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever make up your own ending to a book?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:30 pm 
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And I would like to thank you for reminding me that good Will also wrote the play Julius Caesar, which many people like to look at as a proper history adaption. About as bad a me when Jesus Christ Superstar is the main source of that portion of history as well. Would be better if it was, cause those people knew how to sing. ;)


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