When You Screw Up An Ending
(note: While this post talks about the ending of Season Three, it is completely SPOILER FREE. If you leave a comment, please don’t post spoilers for anyone who didn’t read it)
Sean and I have been working up to the Season Three finale of Yesterday’s Gone (Episode 18) for so long, that we were practically squirming with excitement as we finished the episode. We felt like kids who spent months making a super duper special present for our parents and couldn’t wait to see their faces when they opened it!
All the plotting, planning, and hundreds of hours that went into this season, were all leading up to a killer ending.
Season Three was our most tightly plotted season yet, where we planned to give you answers to almost all your questions, AND provide a killer ending!
And we published it Tuesday, eagerly waiting to hear what YOU, the reader, had to say.
But then something happened…
Some readers didn’t like the ending.
Which happens. Not everyone will like everything we do. And while we’d love everyone to love everything we do, that’s never gonna happen.
But more troubling, was that MANY readers were confused by the ending.
And that should NEVER be the case.
That means we failed at the ending.
And we felt like kids who spent months making a gift which fell apart the minute our parents opened the package.
We were sad, wondering what we’d done wrong.
We started writing with one goal — to create worlds that people would want to get lost in. We want YOU to close our books thrilled to have spent time in our world. We want you to feel just like when we feel when we finish watching our favorite serialized TV shows, EXCITED! Not confused!
So we reached out to some of our readers, asking what they thought happened at the end. And while most people said they liked the ending as it was, nearly all readers were confused and thought the ending was different than it was. And it’s not something small that wouldn’t matter, like they thought Boricio was wearing a blue shirt when he was wearing red.
No, this confusion COMPLETELY CHANGES THE ENDING.
Sean and I got to talking and knew one thing…
WE HAD TO MAKE THIS RIGHT
The ironic part about this ending fail is that we originally planned to write three more chapters! But we worried that we’d be pulling a Lord of the Rings-type Neverending Ending, which spelled out too much of what happened to everyone after the climactic showdown. We thought we’d left things somewhat explained in a way that would allow us to pick up next year and start the new season.
We thought wrong.
The ending was ambiguous, at best.
While I think we did a good job of delivering answers to most of the questions we’d put forth at the start of the series, we didn’t write a good ending.
We failed to provide the one thing readers were most looking for, what they most DESERVED, and that is some sense of closure to the storylines we began last summer.
Readers wanted to see some bows tied to make this feel like a more complete ending.
So Sean and I got busy, writing the chapters we originally intended to include, which clarify the most ambiguous part of the ending. Sorry, I can’t say more without spoiling what happens in the end.
The ending also provides much needed closure. And, oddly enough, provides for a couple of my favorite scenes in the book!
Scenes we had more or less left on the cutting room floor!
We had an editor proof the copy and then uploaded a new version to Amazon so you can get the new version right away.
However, the tricky thing about Amazon is that it’s not easy to get a new version of the book into readers’ hands. Once you (the reader) download a copy of a book, you can’t (so far as we can tell) download a NEW version of the book UNLESS the authors reach out to Amazon and explain that they made revisions. And then Amazon has to reach out to readers to let them know the new version is available. And all that takes time.
So we decided to upload a new REVISED EPISODE to Amazon and make it FREE immediately so you can download that version. We’ve made it free for FIVE DAYS, from Sunday July 29 — Thursday August 2, 2012, which is the maximum amount of time we can make a book free in a 90 day window.
In uploading the new book, I believe we’ll have to take down the original book so as not to violate Amazon’s KDP Select terms. We don’t want to double dip with the same book twice. I believe that Amazon will keep the original sales page up, along with whatever reviews we received. I’m fine with that. I don’t want to whitewash our reviews, as they (and you who write them) help us see what we’re doing right and when we’ve gone wrong.
We’re going to contact Amazon and let them know of the changes, however, so they will alert readers, in which case the page may stay up. I’m a bit confused to how they will handle the whole thing, but I just wanted to make sure we could get the revised ending out to everyone.
Additionally, we’ll have the new ending in the Season Three Compilation. So if you’ve been waiting to read the whole thing all at once, you’re not effected. If you want the “original ending experience” just ignore Chapters 15,16,17. Though I wouldn’t advise that.
You can also download just the new ending here at our website: http://collectiveinkwell.com/season-three-new-ending. We’re also emailing everyone on our newsletter list to let our Goners know that the new ending is available and how to get it.
We’re so grateful to be in the age of digital publishing, where we can make this right within a few days — something we never could have done with print publishing.
And we’re grateful to YOU for giving us the opportunity to fix this.
So to everyone who hated the original ending or were confused by it, we apologize. We spend countless hours on each episode trying to tell the best story we can, and we hate letting you down.
We hope you’ve found this revised edition, and that it delivers the ending we should have written the first time. You deserve the best ending we can give you.
And I think that in the end, this screwup has led to an even better ending. We hope you love it as much as we do.
In closing, Thank you…
We’re grateful to those who let us know of the confusion and unsatisfying ending.
Thank you also to everyone who loved the episode as-is, and to all who have followed us on this adventure during the past year!
Thank you for reading,