Angsting on Ending by Guest Renee Rosen

We have a divine guest blogger today. Debut author Renee Rosen is joining us to talk about endings and getting through them with your sanity intact. Renee’s novel, Every Crooked Pot is the semi-autobiographical, coming of age tale of a girl on the outside looking in. 

ecp-cover-thumb.jpgChosen a Hot Summer Read by the Chicago Tribune, Renee’s novel has garnered praise from NYT Bestselling authors like Sara Gruen and is currently on the top of Deb Kristy’s TBR pile. You can get it through Amazon or any other online venue as well as all the usual suspects like Barnes & Noble, Borders, and your local independent.


Hi ladies and thanks for asking me to dance and thanks especially to Deb Kristy for inviting me to guest blog today. When Kristy told me the topic on the table this week was endings, I immediately thought about the angst I went through while writing the ending for my debut novel, Every Crooked Pot. 

Originally the novel had a different ending—a safe ending that didn’t challenge me and well, frankly was a copout. Among other issues, Every Crooked Pot deals with an intense father/daughter relationship and all along I suppose I knew there was really only one ending for the novel, but I was too afraid to tackle it. It’s no secret that this novel is semi autobiographical and without being a spoiler, let me just say that I knew the ending was going force me to relive some less than happy memories that I had been trying to dodge. Trying so hard in fact that I opted to write not one, but two different endings—both, which very conveniently sidestepped the real issues.

This is where having a brilliant and compassionate editor comes in mighty handy. Gina Scarpa at St. Martin’s came to my rescue. Her instincts were spot-on and she knew exactly where I had to go, and so she pushed me—ever so gently—in the right direction. I remember I would work on the ending, digging down as far as I thought I could go. I’d show it to her and she’d reply with a “Hmmmm… it’s closer, but we’re not quite there yet.”  We’re not?!!  You mean I have to dig down even deeper? So I did. I know this sounds ridiculously dramatic, but when I finally managed to hit that place where all the truth was hiding, I literally sat at my computer and cried. And I’m not talking a little whimpering here—I’m talking serious, full-blown head-clogging sobs that formed puddles on my keyboard. When I finally reached the end, I felt an enormous sense of relief and lightness inside, like at last, I’d found a way to say a proper goodbye to that part of my past.

Now that you’ve heard my whole saga, aren’t you even just a little curious about this excruciating ending?  Clever, aren’t I?  Seriously, it may have been a painful ending to write, but I’ve been told it’s not painful to read. 

Ladies, it’s been a pleasure being here! Thanks for having me and keep dancing everyone!

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7 thoughts on “Angsting on Ending by Guest Renee Rosen

  1. Funny, I just saw something about your book, and now here you are. Kristy is always out in front of a good book,alerting everyone to it. And, yes, you are clever to tease us this way, and now I have to go back to my bookstore (the kids & I just left there at 12:37am after Potter-mania). I completely understand about scouring the depths to come up with the most true ending. I’m there now. Thanks for the tip, Kristy.

  2. It worked for me! I want to read the book now. I also hear you on the challenge of giving a satisfying and yet not copped out ending.

  3. I was relieved to know I am not the only one that cries like a baby when I write.
    At least you have a reason! Going into the depths of your past…I need no reason…I’ll cry at the drop of a hat. Re: good editors – They are SO valuable!!!You also really made me want to read the book too!

  4. While I’m waiting for the very kind FedEx man to bring me my lovely copy of the end of Harry Potter, I’ve been touching on safe sites…this being one.

    When I first saw your book, it was the cover that grabbed my attention. I hate to be that judge-by-the-outside person, but no doubt I’d pick it up off the shelf just for the packaging. Now it’s on my list. Be warned.

  5. Not only did you pique my curiosity, Renee, you also earned my respect. Readers can spot a cop-out and don’t want all HEA endings, not when genuine and satisfying are more appropriate. Congratulations on the book, the post and the new readers you’ve touched here.

  6. Ladies, thank you all for your wonderful comments and your support of my debut. Now as I face the prospects of starting a new novel, I think it’s the beginning that might make me shed some tears. I’d forgotten how difficult it is to dive in on something new–like finding the starting point on a roll of cellophane tape. Thanks again to you all! It’s been fun being here with you!

  7. OK, I’m hooked! Congrats, Renee, and I honestly can’t wait to read your book. Kudos for calling out (and tackling) the issue so many of us face – it is definitely easier to cop out but it doesn’t fool anybody, least of all the reader. Thanks for reminding us to always challenge ourselves – and our characters. And good luck – I wish you every success!

    Mia

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