Monday, May 16, 2011
I'm thiiiis close to finally finishing the tenth version—say the nine old versions in my old versions folder—of this manuscript. Some changes have been minor, bits of dialog removed here, pieces of voice added there. Other versions, like the one I just finished, have sweeping plot changes, with characters and settings removed and added. I even have a third person version rattling around in there.
Each version has been a learning lesson, helping me figure out what works, and—through sometimes painful experience—what doesn't.
One thing that's been the same since the very first draft, however, is the ending. Because of a bit of a bloated word-count that fluttered anywhere from 97 to 103,000, I'd written a pretty brisk ending. It was gritty and realistic, even despite the happily-ever-after feel to it.
Now that I've shaved a good 10K off my lowest word-count, I can afford a longer ending, a more satisfying one that the reader can savor. But I don't want to go on too long. Though all of my major plot points are tied up, there are some teeny threads I could pull to unravel a mystery for a second book, but I'm not sure if I want to go there. So I thought I'd put it to the readers.
How do you like your books to end?
One solid happily-ever-after moment? (It is a paranormal romance.)
Do you prefer your books to end? Or do you like the sense of something more to come? I'm not talking about the super-cliffhanger sequels that some books need in order to tell a story. I'm talking about a self-contained story, but one that hints at a story that's yet to occur.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!