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Author Topic: Coraline Alternate Ending  (Read 108 times)

Offline metanoiein

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Coraline Alternate Ending
« on: May 05, 2022, 05:28:47 PM »
Coraline Alternate Ending

          Coraline had just left Ms. Spink and Forcible’s apartment, or the other Ms. Spink and Forcible. It was a foggy night and everything in her screamed that something was off. Her other mother and father stood by their front door.
Coraline stood still for a brief moment, shaking off the bad feelings. She told herself that this place was home. How could it not be? It is identical to her ‘real’ home and she likes her other family. They seem to love her so what was the problem?
“Coraline dear, how was it?” said the other mother, breaking the silence.
Finally going up the steps Coraline answered, “it was interesting, if I was back at my real home I sure wouldn't have been able to experience it.”
The other mother lightly takes Corline’s hand. Her white, skinny fingers are cold to the touch. She hastily takes Coraline inside signaling for the other father to rush in behind them. They get to the dining room and there is a bundle of presents there for Coraline. What child wouldn't be excited to see a small mountain of presents just for them?
Coraline was excited and immediately said, “Is this all for me?”
“Of course dear, who else would it be for?” The other father says, grabbing a rectangular present wrapped in the purple present paper, “Open this one first.”
Coraline looks at the other mother before opening the small box. The mother smiled, all her white teeth showing as she nodded approval for Coraline to start opening.
The purple wrapping rips off to reveal a slim rectangular box. Inside the box was a pair of the Day-Glo green gloves that Coraline had wanted from the department store. Her real mother refused to buy them for her.
“Oh my gosh!” she yells excitedly. “These are the exact gloves I wanted! How did you know?”
“I’m your mother after all. How could I not?” The other mother says with a grin.
“Right. Well, thank you.” Coraline says as her smile slightly fades.
She goes on to open each present. A long orange wrapped box filled with clothing, another small box filled with candies. She continues to open them until she gets to the last small present. This one was unwrapped, it was just a blue thin box that had Coraline written on the top of it. The other mother glided to her side, the father stood across the table holding a mug of what looked like coffee.
“Let’s open it together shall we?” the other mother asks in a wispy voice.
Coraline nods as the other mother grabs the box. She mouths the words, open it. Coraline takes the top off of the box and it reveals two big black buttons along with white thread and a needle. A rush of emotion fills Coraline as she drops the top of the box onto the floor.
“I-I don’t understand. Buttons? You want to sew buttons in my eyes?” Coraline says in an alert tone covering her eyes as if to hide them.
“Well dear, if you want to stay here with us then we have to go through this small procedure.” Says the other mother with a smile.
The other father comes up behind Coraline and says, “It doesn't hurt a bit, and you’ll be here with us forever after we do this!”
“Um…” Coraline takes a few steps back from the table watching the other mother and father’s smiles. “I think I wanna go home now…”
Silence fills the room and their smiles disappear.
“You are home.” says the other mother.
The other father nods and agrees. “This is your home now, we just need to do this to make it official.”
He smiles but it's different this time. Coraline can see all that’s wrong with the picture here. His smile isn't genuine, it is one of those smiles that you can tell is forced if you truly look at the person. The other mother looks bony and ghost-like. Nothing like her real mother at all. Everything is off, though it all looks the same it is scary and dark here.
“No.” Coraline states, “this is not my home, I’m going back to my real home.”
The other mother slams the box onto the table, her smile completely gone. She tries to walk towards Coraline but Coraline begins to run towards the drawing-room.
“Stop this instant Coraline! Do not disobey your mother!” the other mother screams out.
Coraline gets to the drawing-room to find the little door gone.
“I don't understand. Where is it?” Coraline says.
A large shadow appears on the wall. It is tall and bony. Coraline turns to find the other mother standing behind her but she became even taller and skinnier than before. Her skin is a pale ghost white and her hair is the deepest black she has ever seen.
“I told you, Coraline, you are home. There is no other home to go back to.” the figure whispers, “You. Are. Mine.”
A surge of fear and uncertainty washes over Coraline. This wasn’t what she had imagined. She thought her new world, new neighbors, and new parents were the best thing that happened to her boring and dull life. Unfortunately, she was wrong. Coraline thought of every possibility at this moment, she decided to do the only thing she could.
“You are not my mother!” Coraline screamed as she pushed over the wardrobe next to what should have been the little door that held the passageway through reality and this world.
The other mother gets crushed by the wardrobe giving Coraline the time to start running. She caught a glimpse of what looked like the other father but did not stop. She made it out of the Pink Palace and continued to run, but her world began cracking. The night sky had long white cracks, the cracks you’d see on a wall in an old broken-down house. The cracks got bigger, and small pieces from the sky fluttered to the ground and turned white. Coraline knew that this had to be the other mothers doing. This world was hers, not Coraline's.
She made it far enough from the Pink Palace but she wondered if they were following her. The colorful world she would escape to was suddenly losing its color. It became a dull white wasteland. The orange, red and yellow leaves on the trees were drained to a colorless white. The vibrant green grass and the light brown dirt pathways became lifeless. She slowed down to a walk as she made it to her destination. The well. Boarded up into the ground, she wondered if a jump that far down would kill her. She was running out of options and needed to do something. Anything.
 Coraline grabbed a strong branch that had not lost its life yet but she knew she had little time left. She latched the branch under the boards to break them off. She pushed once. Twice. Then, on the third push, the boards came free. It revealed a deep hole that was pitch black. She snatched a nearby rock and threw it down into the well counting the seconds it took before she heard a splash.
She waited as ten seconds passed. Then twenty. She leaned in closer still not hearing a splash or even a bang of the large rock hitting any surface. However, her time was up. The achromatic haze was close and within the haze, she saw the ominous, tall, bony figure walking her way.
“Coraline…” It whispered. “Let me love you, my child.”
Coraline stood up petrified and unsure. As the figure got closer she came to a decision. She’d rather take her chance in the pitch-black hole than be captured by the monstrous figure coming her way. Filled with dismay she yelled out, “I’m going back to my real mom and dad!”
She stood still for a moment, swallowed her fear, then jumped.
 Coraline heard from what she assumed was the other mother but the sound faded out as she made her descent into the well. She began to think about life before meeting her other parents and came to a realization. Her life was never truly that bad. Sure her parents were not perfect, her life was not as vibrant and fun as she would hope but she had a family. That was enough.
She continued falling for what felt like hours. Everything was still pitch black and the white haze didn’t come into the well. What she didn't realize is that she had fallen asleep. Her mind was no longer running, and she was no longer falling into the well.
A sweet voice was calling her name and a hand was placed lightly on her arm. The air smelled familiar, and it was warm.
“Coraline.” She heard the soft-sounding voice say.
Coraline’s eyes felt heavy as she tried to slowly open them. She woke up laying in her bed but not the bed that she remembered in the other world. She was in her room, her real room.
“Was it all just a nightmare?” She said to herself. She hopped out of bed and saw the back of a woman, it looked like her mother. She ran up and hugged her from the back.
“Mom!” She gasped out from hugging her so hard. “ I’ve missed you so much, I'm so glad to be home-” She was interrupted by her mother.
“My dear, whatever do you mean? You never left your home.”
This was not the sweet voice Coraline remembered hearing before waking up. She released her embrace and took a step back. With a nervous voice, she muttered, “mom?”
Her mother turned to face her, she looked exactly like her mother but there was one obvious difference. Her real mother doesn't have buttons for her eyes. Coraline fell back onto her bed speechless. She never made it back to her real home, she is still in the other world, it has just been altered. She knew for sure that the person across from her was not her mother.
“I told you before,” said the other mother sternly. “You are mine, Coraline. You are going to stay here forever. Look” She said while handing Coraline a black hand mirror.
Coraline hesitantly took the mirror, the back of it facing her. She flipped it around and it revealed what she feared. She was no longer the Coraline she once knew herself to be. Her eyes were gone. Instead, she saw a big black pair of shiny buttons.
Her life is no longer hers and the other mother was right. She was the other mothers.
Anon :)

Offline Clarius

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Re: Coraline Alternate Ending
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2022, 03:23:55 PM »
This is fan fiction, right? Neil Gaiman? A lot of writers get their start writing fan fiction. A lot of writers find their voice copying the style of their favourite author until they find a style and voice all their own. Everyone stands on the shoulders of giants. You could do worse that open up the Kindle preview of Coraline (FYI one I now want to read/watch) and rewrite this in something approximating Gaiman's style. He write's in a style I admire: using plain language and simple words. Here's an example of that style vs your style.

Coraline stood still for a brief moment...

Coraline paused...

^ the basic principle here is to omit needless words wherever possible

I've not read much Gaiman, but I like what I've read. I had a go at rewriting (some of) this in a style akin to his.

Something was off tonight, Coraline thought, as she closed the door of the Ms's. Spink's and Forcible's apartment behind her. She couldn't put her finger on it, but something was most definitely off tonight. She could feel it.

She went over to the window to see if she could see anything that looked off, but a thick white fog had lowered over the house and she saw only her own reflection, so she went downstairs to the apartment that - in this world as in her own - was where she called home.

Her other parents were waiting on the doorstep; waiting for her, worrying about her, Coraline supposed, though they'd no need to.

“Coraline dear, how was it?” said the other mother, breaking the silence.

Bounding up the steps, Coraline answered, “It was interesting. If I were back at my real home I sure wouldn't have been able to experience that.”

Her other mother took her by the hand - her other mother's hand's were cold and hard, not at all like her real mother's hands which were warm and soft  - , and, with a nod of her head to Coraline's other father that he should follow behind, ushered Coraline inside.

Coraline's other mother helped her out of her coat, and, after her other father had hung it on its peg behind the door, they led her, one on either side of her and each clutching one of her hands, down the corridor toward the dining room.

Coraline's eyes widened as they entered the dining room, for there on the table was a mountain of presents; each wrapped in shiny paper, and each bigger that the one before.

Is this all for me, Coraline asked, staring around her in wonder.

Of course, dear, said her other mother. Who else would it be for?

The other father grabbed a rectangular present wrapped in purple paper from off the pile and, forcing it into her arms, said, Open this one first, my dear.

 ^ that's my rough first draft attempt at mimicking Gaiman's style.

Your premise is neat, the execution needs work.

You rush to a conclusion you're obviously proud of and along the way you show rather than tell. Take this for example.

What child wouldn't be excited to see a small mountain of presents just for them?
Coraline was excited and immediately said, “Is this all for me?”

That ^ reads like you (the author) popping up to tell me (the reader) something. This should all be in the voice of the PoV character Coraline. Show me excited, don't tell me.

In conclusion. The premise is neat, the execution needs work. There's a nice sense of the uncanny about this, that slightly off-kilter feeling that keeps readers engaged.

All criticism is opinion and you know what they say about opinions. It you can see truth in it then learn from it, otherwise discard it for the nonsense you believe it to be. Don't be hurt by it, or put off by it. It's not criticism of you as a person, but you as a writer learning your craft. No one ever learned to walk without they stumbled along the way.


FYI. I didn't vote. Good/bad is as pointlessly binary as male/female.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2022, 03:35:48 PM by Clarius »
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

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Offline JinShei

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Re: Coraline Alternate Ending
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 05:30:00 AM »
I haven't read the book of Coraline but I've seen the film, it's still one of my daughter's favourites and she's 15 now! I think I'll get the book after reading your alternate ending.

I agree with the previous comments by Clarius that you have a tendency to tell rather than show. For example:

"A rush of emotion fills Coraline"
"A surge of fear and uncertainty washes over Coraline"
"Coraline stood up petrified and unsure"

In each of these examples you are telling the reader what Coraline is feeling rather than recreating the feeling so that your reader feels it and associates it with a time when they too felt that way. By allowing the reader to feel these emotions and draw parallels with their own experience you are drawing them into your story, into the world you are creating. Your ultimate goal is for your reader to become totally immersed in your story and feeling strongly about your characters.

So consider: how do you feel when you are afraid? What happens to you physically? Do you get hot? Or cold? How do your legs feel? What happens to your face? Can you speak?

There are different situations where you feel fear. Feeling scared because you have to give a speech is a different feeling to being scared because a rabid dog has appeared from nowhere and has cornered you in a dead end street. In the first instance you might find you cannot speak at all. In the second you might be screaming as loudly as you can. There will be some sensations that are the same, but there are differences. So hopefully this has explained why telling your reader that Coraline felt a surge of fear doesn't get across really how Coraline is feeling and the reader will not be pulled as fully into your story as they could be.

Maybe as an exercise, think of a time you have felt how you are imagining Coraline feels at this moment. Make yourself relive it, note how every part of you is feeling, then write it down. You need to describe how you felt but you are not allowed to use the words scared, frightened, fear, petrified, excited etc. Don't look at what you have written for a whole day, then go back to it and read it over. Does it make you experience that feeling when you read it back? Does it make you think of an experience that brought on the feeling in the first place? If it does for you, it is highly likely to make others feel the same way.  Your reader doesn't have to have experienced the tremendous excitement you felt when you first went to a theme park, they may hate theme parks, but they will have felt the way you did when they did something that excites them and that is what you want to make them think of.

Hopefully I've managed to convey a lesson it has taken me a very long time to learn and that I still often get wrong or forget!

This is an excellent first draft and you have a flair for creating a setting. You have avoided pitfalls such as using overly complicated words where simpler ones will work better, so take your gold star there. That's a mistake I made (cringe so much now when I read my earlier drafts of the piece I'm currently working on) many, many times! Remember to be succinct - your reader does not want to be bogged down with extra words because it holds up the actual story for them.  Imagine being told you are going to an amazing place for your birthday and then being driven all around the country before arriving at your destination only to find it was in the next street to where you started. You wouldn't be as enthusiastic by the time you arrived as you would have been if you'd gone straight there with someone giving you teasing clues to hype you up! You may even feel a bit let down.

Keep writing and keep posting! Best of luck to you