Which way do I go?

Published August 10, 2013 by M E McMahon


I’ve always trusted my followers and readers suggestions and have treasured each one.  My beta readers for my novel are awesome: honest, clear and supportive.  Comments on both my posts have always been spot on and I read each one with respect.

And, now I’m once more reaching out for your help.

I have written a short story…with two different endings…and I cannot decide which ending would appeal more to a reader (and publisher).  Due to publishing restrictions, I can only give you a brief synopsis of the story and hope you can give me some help with my decision.

1.  An aging reporter is being edged out by a younger reporter.

2.  She needs a big “scoop” on a series of murders so she can regain her previous status as a crime reporter.

3.  Events lead her to believe that she has found the killer but needs more proof before notifying police.

4.  She follows killer and stakes out his house.

5.  The killer notices her watching him and sneaks up on her while she sits in her car.

And, here’s where the two different endings come in.

My first is to let the killer attack but she manages to fend him off and capture him.  She’s the hero of the day and gets her scoop!

The second is that she loses her life and the killer gets away.  The headlines will carry the murder the next day and she gets the recognition she sought, just in a very different way.

Both endings I’ve written are good (or so I think) but I’m not sure how readers will feel about either one.  So, I’m asking for you to vote on the poll below and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks, my friends if you’ve submitted a vote!  I’ll let you know what happens to this poor soul in a week.

Yours In Writing,



30 comments on “Which way do I go?

  • I think it is different for everyone. I ran out of books when on holiday and had to look to ones already in the house we rented. Almost all were romantic fiction. All would have had very predictable endings. It amazed me that so many people like these. Each for me seemed like the same story, same ending, different names. As a result I would not anticipate that my ending would be the most popular. I seem to be out of sync!


  • You’ll never please every reader, but with short stories and flash fiction (1000 words or less), I think it’s best to do a surprise or twist ending. With this premise, you have lots of room for creativity. As a writer, don’t you want a story to stick in a reader’s mind long after they’ve read it? Wouldn’t it be fun to lead readers down a familiar path, and then change it up in the final scene, leaving them thinking, “Wow! I never saw that coming!”

    Ending #1 is too predictable. It’s been done before: we’re all rooting for the heroine who in the end saves the day and gets the big prize! Ending #2 is more intriguing, but you have to be careful with POV: how can you tell a story from a dead person’s perspective? I see how you try to get around that issue with the newspaper headings, but if the story is told from the reporter’s POV, how can she recount events for readers if she dies in the end?

    You’re a talented writer, Crank, and this story sounds promising. Why not put it aside for a few days and let your muse work on it? Let it end with a bang — something readers would never expect.


  • Hello! What a decision to have to make…the happy ending as you know is always lovely….and you usually write that way…I chose that, but…thinking about it a litle more, I think I’d go for the second ending…a sad surprise…but more what the story should be. BTW…on my reader this post came up 4 times…got the feeling it was urgent!


    • I have no idea why that would come up so many times!! Only posted it once! Hmmm…Wordpress going nuts on us? Thanks for the info, my friend and I’m also leaning towards the sad ending…but I’m still not sure! We’ll see!


      • It’s always, at least for me difficult to choose the sadder side of life…but, in a world that lies so much, sometimes it’s necessary…unfortunately everything doesn’t always come out right.


  • My suggestion would be to let people assume the second ending happened. Your hero is actually alive and well and living in witness protection thanks to a very dashing FBI agent.

    (yes I’m a stinker for giving even more alternatives hehe)


  • Third ending…Just as the killer makes his move, her fangs flash white soon to be covered in red and she writes her scoop in the killers blood in the morning edition….

    Actually I like second ending it speaks to being careful what one wishes for. =)


  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: