Two of my friends have read my novel, and while they really did like it (yay!), they both thought the ending was sort of "tacked on" and that it should have ended much earlier than it did. Here's the set up (though I will try not to give too much away in the event this novel is actually published some day!)
The end of the story (a WW2 novel) takes place after the hero and heroine get married. Since he is a German POW and she is an American, he goes back to Germany, and she follows. I wanted to show him finding his parents, since he had no idea if they were dead or alive, and also show the relationship between the hero and his father since his father was an ardent supporter of the Fatherland. I also wanted my heroine to find her "purpose" in life - this is an inspirational novel and God's purpose for our lives is one of the major themes - and that purpose is helping the people of Germany recover.
Now here's my problem. I love, love, LOVE this part of the book. I love showing the dynamics of how this woman deals with living in a country whose soldiers killed her first husband at Normandy; I love showing the relationship between the hero and his father and how his father reacts to his son's American wife; I love showing how the two deal with their growing faith in this broken country.
My two friends commented that this section felt "too rushed", anticlimatic, that it looked like I needed to up the word count, so I wrote more. But that's not it at all. In fact, I was worried I would go quite a bit over my 100K goal. Maybe I wrapped things up too quickly.
So what to do? I really feel this section is necessary and to be honest, they read my first draft and I've made some major changes in the story since then - weaved together some imperative plot lines and emotional entanglements, etc.
I guess this is what the editing stage is for.
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