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Rewriting Fiction: Twenty Moments We Wish We Could Change

rewriting fiction
Laurie (Christian Bale) proposes to Jo (Winona Ryder). Photo: Columbia


You know those moments when you’re reading a book, watching a movie or TV Show and there’s this one instant that you wish you could just change? Maybe it’s the tragically sad death, the epically bad ending or even the romantic choice you just didn’t agree with.

But hey, it was the writer’s choice, not yours so what can you do? Basically nothing other than have a good cry, maybe a good scream or even throw a completely inappropriate tantrum like throwing something at the television after a particularly hideous ending to an episode of a TV Show (all three of us claim complete innocence on that last one!).

Even though we can’t literally change what was created, it doesn’t mean we can’t wonder “what if?”

Sometimes fictional moments feel similar to real moments. What if you could go back in time and change “one” particular moment? How different would your life be if you had made a different choice? We ask the same questions of these fictional characters. What if the character had made a different choice? What if the character didn’t have to die? And what if the ending turned a little bit more into your own personal preference of fictional reality?

It’s kind of like Briony in Atonement; Cecilia and Robbie couldn’t have a happy ending in real life, so she wrote them one into her novel; a fictional happy ending written by a fictional character within a fictional novel. If Briony can rewrite reality, can the audience rewrite fiction? The audience then changing said fictional moments within a fictional story, at least within your own mind?

Perhaps we can’t write more than fanon – fake canon, but as said before, we can at least wonder or even wish the story could have turned out differently. After all, we did invest a little bit of ourselves into the lives of these fictional characters.

So what then happens when you break down the walls of fiction to question its actual reality? Do we become a little bit like Mulder in Post-Modern Prometheus breaking the fourth wall to make a complaint to the writer about the ending?

Mulder: This is all wrong Scully. This is not how the story’s supposed to end.

Scully: What do you mean?

Mulder: Dr. Frankenstein pays for his evil ambitions, yes. But the monster is supposed to escape to go search for his bride.

Scully: There’s not going to be any bride, Mulder. Not in this story.

Mulder: Where is the writer? We need to speak to the writer.

Of course, what then follows is a much happier ending for the monster (and for Mulder who gets to dance with Scully at a Cher concert).

Much like Mulder, we ask… “Where is the writer? We need to speak to the writer.”

While we accept the story the writer has chosen to tell (and even if we do like to imagine a happier or perhaps a different outcome, we do still like many of these said stories), sometimes it is a little bit fun to imagine something a little different even if it can never be. What if Felicity for instance in that fateful moment chose to go on the trip with Noel instead of on the road trip with Ben? What would the story have been like?

So that brings us to our list! The moments we picked comes down to personal preference. Among the three of us, these were moments that at least one of us wished we could have changed and yes…rewritten.

We like to imagine that somewhere in a fictional parallel universe, Jo is with Laurie and not the professor (or even single, we can see her as single), Thomas J never got stung by bees and Mary and Matthew lived long happy lives together. But hey, that’s just us! So without further ado here’s the list…

Click the Next Page For The Full List Of Moments We Wish We Could Rewrite!

By on October 24th, 2013

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4 thoughts on “Rewriting Fiction: Twenty Moments We Wish We Could Change”

  1. The whole Meta-Crisis/Doctor/Rose thing makes me really sad. I like the idea of her having her own “human doctor”, but… the doctor is still out there! Without Rose! Gaaahhhhhh! But at least she has a Doctor that will age with her. So that part makes me happy. 🙂

    • It’s very bittersweet. It’s like she is with the Doctor, but yeah, there’s this part of him out there that’s alone. It’s such a mix of emotions. Personally, I actually think Rose’s ending with the Doctor was beautifully written, even if again, it is bittersweet.


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