Fictional Better Endings? (and, Life Mapping Begins Today!)


Create your own list of works of fiction for which you would like to imagine a Better Ending. Any genre of fiction will suffice.  After making your list, choose one and flex your creativity! Write a Better Ending scenario. Again, Better Endings are not necessarily happier ones, just tweaked in a way that is satisfying to you.

My own list is only suggestive, as I know many of you are better versed than I am in a wide range of genres. But here are a few well known works of fiction the endings (or body) of which would be rather interesting to ‘twist’:

  • Moby Dick
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Jane Eyre
  • Lost Horizon (Part II, the sequel)
  • Heidi
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Oliver Twist
  • Cinderella
  • The Time Machine (the sequel)
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies

You can add your own list by Commenting below. Please submit your stories, of any length or format, by this Saturday evening, and the sooner the better so I can comment on them here.

Thanks to those of you who are Following this blog daily; I invite all of you visiting the site to Follow to receive your daily Better Endings.


I am starting a new feature for this blog, starting today! Check out the text box to the right on the Home page. From now on I will post a weekly LIFE MAPPING activity. On Friday posts I will share more about the weekly Life Mapping prompt.  Over the past twelve years I have developed a complete personal growth & development approach which I call the Life Maps Process. I aim to publish a book for the general public next year, called Life Paths. The book will be accompanied by the Life Maps Process Handbook, a self-help toolkit that anyone can use to engage in a complete life mapping process on their own. I will offer many of these handbook techniques in our weekly Better Endings Life Mapping activity.  The “through line” to my book on Life Paths is, “Live your Dream, Now!” So you see, that is the connection with Better Endings. I have coached and taught classes to over 400 people in Life Mapping techniques, and I find that when anyone takes the time to review and reflect on their Life Chapters and Life Story to Now, they find patterns and challenges as well as Strengths they can develop that can empower them to forge a clearer, truer path to realizing their Life Dream.

Welcome to a Year of BETTER ENDINGS


Change a story, change a life, and a world … YOURS! Welcome to a year of Better Endings.  This is an inspirational, personal growth & development blog as well as a writer’s blog, about Better Endings. I am Linda Watts, an anthropologist who has developed a personal development approach called Life Mapping which has as its main aim to help anybody to Live Your Dream, Now! This daily, interactive Better Endings site is a free, one year adventure in creative re-visioning or flexibility stretching.  The idea similar in principle to the Lumosity program that trains the brain to higher functioning, yet here we will retool and train up your faculty of Imagination through creative story-telling. The basic inspirational idea is really quite simple: as you practice imagining and constructing ‘better ending’ scenarios across a wide range of topics, you will be developing your natural ability to create and actualize Better Ending scenarios in your own life!

I invite you to join in the fun, day to day and week by week. Every week there will be a Weekly Topic. I will introduce the topic on Monday and on Tuesday I will post a sample story on the weekly topic. Please send in your COMMENTS below any Post at any time, and please send in your own stories about the weekly topic. Multiple entries are welcome! See the menu tabs to Submit your story to my email address given there. We can discuss the stories and comments coming in throughout the week, exploring the possible implications and insights related to our weekly topic. Then, every Sunday, I will publish a selected Story of the Week.  As the author of the Story of the Week you will receive a byline and a short bio published with your story. You can send in stories on any of the weekly themes at any time, so please don’t feel constrained by the calendar. I will sort your story into an appropriate week and consider it as an entry for the Story of the Week during its appropriate week.  There are 26 weekly topics which we will cycle through twice over the course of this one year adventure in blogging.

You may also submit essays (approximately 300-600 words) for a weekly Guest Blog. I invite all of you to do this. Please just answer the question,”What Do Better Endings Mean to ME?” Please answer from the depth of your own unique life experience, career background, and interests. I’ll publish at least one Guest Blog entry every week on Thursdays. If a lot of entries come in I may publish two days of Guest Blogs per week.  Authors for our Guest Blog posts will also receive a byline and a published bio.

So, let’s get started with WEEK ONE!

Our first Weekly Topic is Historical Events.

Where would America or indeed where would the world be today if the Supreme Court had awarded the US Presidency in the year 2000 to Al Gore ? That was a very strong possibility that did not come to pass, and it has undoubtedly affected the course of history in radical ways.  Or what if Lincoln had leaned over to whisper an endearment in his wife’s ear just as Booth’s near-fatal bullet whizzed past his head (or, JFK or MLK, similarly)? Historical events become collective, cultural memories, or “memes”, and they can mark deep impacts on those who tell their stories later. Especially tragic events tend to be held as collective scars in the popular mindset over many generations. Books are written, movies made and remade, exploring every angle, every nook and cranny of these legendary crises and pivotal events.

So here is YOUR opportunity to alter that collective mindset and in so doing to subtly re-map–at least in your own and in your readers’ minds–the very landscape of a long-established cultural memory. Consider the possibilities! How might things have gone differently If? When? Because? …and how might history itself and the world we live in be potentially impacted or even radically changed because of the ‘better ending’ you envision?

The only guideline  that I would like to establish for your Better Endings stories that you submit is that “better endings” will have life-affirming, wellness oriented and personally fulfilling outcomes. I maintain the right to filter out strongly negative or destructively oriented stories and comments. But at the same time, a “better” ending need not necessarily be a “happy” one. Maybe a tragedy still occurs but somehow what someone learns from their hard experience affects later decisions or other people in a positive or constructively meaningful way.


So let us embark and have a free tilt at History!  I heartily invite each one of you to COMMENT below any Post with your ideas, questions and insights. I will Reply to your Comments and the rest of you can chime in with follow up Comments too, so we can engage in a conversation about our themes and about the overall experience and principle of Better Endings. Of course also, if you enjoy this experience, join in! And please LIKE and SHARE this site with others.