21 January 2015

This World Bites by Loni Townsend


Today I'm hosting author Loni Townsend, in honor of her new release, This World Bites. She's sharing her experiences with the horrible yet inevitable task of killing your darlings. I'm learning a thing or two about that lately as well. Take it away, Loni! 

Killing Darlings for the Sake of Success

I want to start with a huge thank you to Sarah for letting me on her blog today. I know she's decided to scrap the last ten chapters of her story, and I totally relate to how daunting that is. 

This World Bites had a different ending than what I actually released. A few people even got to read it. It turns out, not everyone appreciates my twisted sense of humor, and it made some people downright angry with me. Some people loved it (thank you, Elizabeth), but even so, I decided not to risk tanking a possibly good rating on the very last page.

Of course, I can't tell you what the original ending was, because it would ... well, give away the ending. But after you read This World Bites, if you want to know how the story originally ended, hit me up. 

Will it pay off? Possibly. I think more people will be okay with this ending. Is it better? Eh... That's a matter of opinion. I still giggle to myself when I read the original. 

It's hard to let go of those tidbits we love. But sometimes, what's best for the author isn't what's best for the story. 

Have you ever had to cut something that you just didn't want to let go? Did you regret the decision afterward? Do you think your story is better because of it?



It’s her first day on a new world and Cera’s already found trouble. Michael, her guardian, has been bitten by a zombie and will soon join the undead ranks.

Everyone tells her there’s no cure, but Cera isn’t one to be deterred. She’s willing to face off with zombie hordes, demon slavers, and black market informants if it means she’ll find a cure for Michael. But she’s not the only one hunting for something.

Something is hunting her.


By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head.

People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don't let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human. That's part of being a ninja—blending in.

She makes her home in Idaho with her sadistically clever—yet often thwarted—husband, two frighteningly brilliant children, and three sneaky little shibas.
Find her on her blog or social media.
Contact info:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads

43 comments:

  1. Congrats, Loni.

    I changed the very ending of the 5th book in my series. My husband said it needed more surprise, so I rewrote it. The new ending is much better.

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    1. Thanks L. Diane! That's usually how it turns out, isn't it?

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  2. Erm, yeah... The ending... That's kind of something you have to get exactly right in my opinion. =) I've killed so many darlings through the years it's a miracle I haven't been arrested. In fact, my last novel, I chopped a whole 30 page scene from the near end on the last edit. Truth, it hurt, but it would have hurt the story more to keep it in there. (Even if I really, really liked it.) *sigh* The things we do for our readers, eh?

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  3. 50% of my beta readers for Come Back advised me to stop the book a few chapters early. It was a difficult decision, but, after considering genre expectations, I left it the way it was. It paid off.

    That said, I have had to cut lines and scenes before. It's rarely easy.

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    1. I'm glad it paid off! Come Back is a wonderful story. :)

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  4. ugh yess....I'm usually pretty easy going about making changes, but some things just kill me. But I always agree with the suggestion (if it's from my agent) and if I'm the one who's debating it I know in the end it's for the best to make a cleaner, tighter story!

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    1. And that is what we want in our stories, isn't it?

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  5. Seems like a painful sacrifice, but if for the betterment of the work it would be worth scrapping that which does not work.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  6. Haha! And I know what the original ending is. It threw me off quite a bit, but now it does make me laugh. A few months from now, you could share the original ending on your blog with a spoiler notice. I think that would be fun. :)

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  7. Changing the ending is something I've done as well...definitely hard, but in my experience pretty much always worthwhile!

    Congrats, Loni, =)

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  8. That sounds so painful. At least you'll always have your story file with the ending you prefer. When I finish reading, I'll definitely hit you up for the original ending.

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    1. I guess I'm the type to giggle at my own jokes. :)

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  9. I wrote a rough of the ending of my third book, but once I started outlining, I realized it didn't fit. It was a cool scene, so I still have it.

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    1. I actually wrote the original ending first, before I really started the rest of the book. :) I suppose that's why it didn't work.

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  10. I've never had to cut that much of my story. Then again, I've changed the focus of the story enough that I have had to rewrite that many chapters. Most of my darlings are short bits that just can't seem to justify their existence.

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  11. Every change hurts, but I hope they all made my stories better. I'm like the old master with the salt who told his complaining apprentice, "Stop being a glass. Be a lake."

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  12. Congrats, Loni! I dropped a couple of scenes that broke my spirit this last revision. One just wasn't needed, and one geographically made no sense. lol

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    1. Thank you!

      Losing scenes can be heartbreaking, but sometimes it's for the better. :)

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  13. I've had to change or cut things and it's definitely not easy. But I do think it pays off in the end. Congrats, Loni!

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  14. Have to put the reader first I guess, but then it might be fun to sit back and watch them get pissed off. I suppose if one was a rich well known author they could get away with that.

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    1. Well-known, I am not. Rich? Yes, just not in money. :)

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  15. Great post. The ending is crucial in gaining the reader's trust. Too many books kept me on the edge of my seat for 250 pages, only to have me scream 'this is it?' at the end. It doesn't have to be happy, but organic. Thank you for this enjoyable read. And the book sounds awesome.

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    1. Thank you!

      And yes, I totally agree about the organic ending.

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  16. Hee hee. I liked the original, too :) Great post - how many of these have you done??? This is getting impressive... CONGRATS!

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    1. Thank you! This is the third stop on the blog tour. I've got 6 guest posts, 3 interviews, 3 top 10 lists, 2 excerpts, and a review! Hopefully I manage to make everything interesting. :)

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  17. I am twisted and I would give my reasons for loving the original ending, but will say nothing. In my mind, that's still the ending and it still makes me giggle. And Cera's reaction was so perfect- so elemental!

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  18. We can't be so in love with an idea that we won't let another in. Great advice!

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    1. Very true! We'd stunt our creativity if we refuse to be open to other ideas.

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  19. nice. I AM FOLLOWING, PLEASE FOLLOW BACK http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/

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    1. I have to admit, this song popped into my head when I saw your comment. But then, that might be a bit extreme. I promise I won't turn stalker on you. But hey, that's a cute skirt you've got on. :)

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  20. I used to feel bad about those big changes, but now I jump into them. I want to make my manuscripts better, even if I like my darling scenes.

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    1. That's probably one of the things that makes you so successful...that and you're a great writer!

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  21. It's so hard to kill stuff you've worked so long on, but sometimes it's worth it.

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