Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


My first draft of Mona Lisa's Room is done. I'd barely typed the final period before self-doubt came knocking at my door. "Your ending sounds kinda lame," she stated, picking a piece of broccoli from her snaggle tooth. "I'd rethink it if I were you."

I can't stand that arrogant witch.

So, I laid awake last night, wondering...

I'd set up things for 3 possible endings, a tiny hint here, a little reference there. Why I chose the ending I did was simply based on what I'd felt at the time. Pantser that I am, I have no better reasoning process.

The writing of Mona Lisa's Room, as I've said before, was a stretch for me. I don't like horror movies or shows with a lot of blood and gore. I don't watch CSI or all those other crime shows. Why I chose to write about a terrorist group, I'd named the Red Hand, chasing my hero and heroine through the streets of Paris is beyond me. My gunfights sounded like two kids shooting water-pistols in the backyard, and my karate fights read like two bears doing the cha-cha.

Still, I wrote on, enjoying the learning process of stretching my boundaries. Writing romantic suspense and getting that delicate balance of romance and intrigue was a challenge. Whether I achieved that balance remains to be seen. No doubt Dawn Dowdle, my agent, will have much to say about that. Nothing much gets past her.

Writing the story was a fun process, revisiting the city I love so much. Paris is a delight. In less than four months I'd written over 90,000 words. In a few days, after I let the manuscript perculate on the back burner of my brain, I'll start editing it. I'll see then how many of those 90,000 are good words. By the time I get done paring and shifting and deleting, I might have 80,000 passable words. One never knows.

For now it's the ending that bothers me. I've been obsessing about it all day. Did I write a good one or not? Should I have chosen one of the other endings I'd so carefully set up? Truthfully, it seems like a Micky Mouse kinda ending.


Mark said...

If you think it's a Mickey Mouse kind of ending, then maybe it's time to rewrite another ending. Doesn't hurt to have two. Who knows, maybe a third, better ending will shape up between them.

wv_mark at

Judy said...

I have never seen Mona looking so good as in the last picture:) I am glad I am not a writer, because I am the world's worst about second guessing myself. Good luck with your ending.


Rebecca said...

Hi Vonnie,

If you're obsessing over the ending that much, then I'd write another one. If you think it’s a Mickey Mouse ending, others might too. I agree with Mark – try it again and see what happens. This time, the mouse isn’t invited!

rrgreene at earthlink dot net

Kay V said...

I always say go with your first feeling it's usually the right one... self doubt is a terrible enemy! Of course, you can pull a movie stunt and alternate ending! I'm excited, I want to read it!!

Rhiannon Ellis said...

Congrats on finishing! That's awesome news. Maybe your ending is fine. Maybe it just needs tweaking. One word (or 5) makes all the difference, as you well know. The good news is you have 10s of thousands of words to edit until you revisit THE END. You'll figure it out. I have faith in you. FYI: If your ending makes you squeal and/or clap, it's a keeper.

Rebecca said...

Hi Vonnie,

I tried leaving you a post yesterday, but it said it had to be approved first. Don't know if I'm the only one having technical difficulties or not.

Since you are obsessing over the ending this much, I would definitely write another ending and see what happens. You could also give it a couple of days and re-read it when it isn’t so fresh – a little distance can help. Good luck!

rrgreene at earthlink dot net

Vonnie Davis said...

Mark and Rebecca, you are both SO right. I deleted the last two chapters last night and started approaching the end from a different angle. In fact, I felt so good about it I went to bed at 2am and slept like a baby until 9:30 this morning. Good thing I'm retired. Writers can never be so in love with their children that they can't or won't kill them off. Writing is rewriting, after all. Thanks!!

A.M. Kuska said...

I'm glad you figured it out Vonnie. If you want some help with the "karate" scenes let me know. I have an assistant teaching permit from the first US world champion in judo, and experience in hap kido and TKD (Although frankly, its not one of my favorites. >_> I got my booty handed to me far too many times in that sport.)

marybelle said...

I love the fact that you want to create something great. That you are not content with anything less. As a reader I appreciate that.