Inspiration is the key!
On Thursday, the Independent posted an article titled “Did they all live happily ever after? That’s up to you…” where Dalya Alberge reported what Newcastle-born author Caroline Smailes came up with. After receiving one too many opinions on how her books should end, she decided to go “book game” on her readers by allowing them to choose different endings.
Now, this looks a bit like 3D. How? Both 3D technology and book games were invented respectively in the 1980s and 1990s with an initial interest by the public that soon faded away. Both ideas returned in our current times as highly developed answers as to what future can bring into our lives. To the point that HD and 3D technologies are now implemented in many television sets. What about book games? I remember my cousin buying books which allowed the reader to skip from one chapter to another depending on what you wanted the characters to go and how you wanted the plot to develop. I was sceptic back then, I am sceptic now.
Surely the invention of e-readers allows the choice for alternative endings in a much more structured way. One won’t have to skip from one page to another but just click on the desired path.
Why? Because I think the reader HAS TO trust the author. Who is the reader to know what’s best for the characters and the book’s plot? After all, it’s not the reader the one who came up with the characters’ profile, background history and all the details that make the book one single piece of art. Because that is what it is, a single piece of art (stress on the word single): it’s unique, one, unos! As a writer, when I develop the plot and the characters, to me they are real and I could never publish a book with different endings. I might be allowed to change my mind in the writing process, but once it’s published, that’s it. I must be sure the ending is one and the readers find out as they read. How is a plot believable if you leave it open for readers to choose? This might sound as an old-fashioned perspective on things, but there is no way that this is the way forward for books and e-books alike!