Monday, August 17, 2009

Tidy endings

I've been working on the last chapter and the epilogue today and am technically done. (More on the difference between that and actually done a little later.) I worked hard in the earlier drafts to lead up to a complete and satisfying and believable resolution, and I was pretty confident about it, but one of my readers is calling the question.

At issue now is the last effects of the events of the book on my character. He goes through some pretty dramatic events and the immediate conflict gets resolved for him, but having an epilogue at all kind of requires you to talk about all the stuff that doesn't get immediately resolved. Maybe it's the current conventional wisdom about psychology, but readers may expect certain kinds of lasting effects, but for whatever reason this reader wasn't buying what I was selling. Too tidy.

So what I've been doing is trying to rewrite so that it still leads to the same final tidyness but shows more messiness along the way to make it credible. As usual, I'm pretty sure that it's improved, but I'm not so sure it's good enough.

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