Thursday, September 10, 2009

Romance Issues Poll

I need some help here. As many of you know, I am in the final stages of editing my WIP: A SPRINKLING OF PROMISES.

But since today is my 32nd wedding anniversary, I have been thinking about the romance in my book and need some writerly input.

A few people who read it wanted me to change my ending.

The book isn't a romance but being the romantic I am (ask my dear husband) I had to put one in the plot. But the book is about Lizzy, a self-proclaimed murderess, wanna-be-writer and mother of two teens who is wearing too many hats and sinking from grief and guilt.

She falls in love with this other writer who she decides she can't be with. (Read the book when it comes out to find out why) But alas, at the end, he sends her his first novel and pens the inscription to her. You know by reading it she melts.

Cut to the next and last chapter--she is visiting the cemetery--the same one where the book starts and you the reader can tell she finally married the guy but he died from a bad heart five years later. She's ok about it--she grew throughout the book and is finally the whole person she wanted to be.

QUESTION: Should I have written a reunion with the man she loves before cutting to the ending even if it isn't about the romance? A few have felt they needed that final interaction between the two to tie it up for them.

Let me know, ok? and Hey--don't forget to sign up for my book giveaway on the last post. I am finding out that many of you have the same illness I have when it comes to writing more or doing more than we have to, oh lazy ones.:)



Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, I would put it in.
1) while it's not a romance, it still sounds like a pivotal scene, and
2)sometimes you have to give your readers what they want. LOL!

Janna Qualman said...

Happy Anniversary! 32 years is worth celebrating!

By the way you've given description here, I like it as is. But I like the emotional pull of that lapse in time, where we just understand their relationship together, where we can come to our own conclusions and see it for ourselves.

I say let your future agent make the final call on a change. ;)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, you must have done like me and married when you were five! Happy Anniversary, you young thing!

As long as it's clear what happened and you've tied up all the loose ends with no unanswered questions, leave it. But if there are dangling issues, add a scene. Unresolved circumstances in a story drive me nutty--they remind me too much of real life!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Happy anniversary!

Maybe just fill in a bit about their relationship through the flashback scene at the cemetary? (Hey, there's a title possibility -- Graveyard Promises.) :)

Natalie Bahm said...

Wow, 32 years! Congratulations!

I think it could work either way. What do you feel? Is it a scene you want to write? Do you like it the way it is? Do you think it would add to the story or detract?

Analisa said...

I am not one married to happy endings. Keep the original ending, maybe one day you will want to continue her story.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hi! I think it sounds good! But then again, I'm not one for happy endings either.

Heather Sunseri said...

I can't believe all the ones who are not for happy endings here. I love happy endings and I love romance mixed into a non-romance book, but it must be the "right" ending for the story. That probably wasn't much help. I think only you can decide what the "right" ending is for your story. That wasn't help either. I'm sorry.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Congrats! Happy Anniversary! Mucho blessings!

That's a tough one to answer. I personally like endings that I don't expect...the unusual...the ones that leave me with questions and wonder...ones that could lead to maybe a sequel.

Trudy said...

First of all, Happy Anniversary Terri! 32 years, that's wonderful!

I think you have to go with what your heart says (especially since we're talking romance). As a reader, even though the book is not a romance, I think it would be nice to just include a little bit about the reunion.

God bless Terri!

Andrea said...

Actually, You may consider leaving it as it life we do not always get that reunion that we feel we need. Often it is during the time we grieve those losses that we grow closer to the Lord.

Blessings, andrea

PS: Just a suggestion....GO with your heart!

Jack W. Regan said...

Hmmm. Tough to say without having read the book, but...

As long as this isn't the main focus, I'd probably skip the reunion. As long as the character arc of your main character is clear, I don't think people will be disappointed. Perhaps a bitter-sweet type ending. Yes, he died, but the main character ended up where she needed to be as a person as a result.

Plus, you want to be careful adding stuff just because. Often your first thought is the correct one. I'd say go with your gut. You can ask ten different people and get ten different answers, and then lose your mind. ;0)

Jessica said...

Oh my goodness, this terrorizes my romantic heart! Sheesh. I can't believe you kill him!!!

Okay, with that vented, this is not a romance, but women's fiction, so you need to go with what your gut tells you.
Either way, if an editor likes the story, they'll just tell you to change the ending. I don't think they'd reject on the ending alone. Personally, I'd rather them not have their reunion because then it's harder when he's dead. If she just reads the book inscription then there's already that separation. :-)

Kristen Painter said...

Congrats on 32 years! That's awesome! As far as the story goes, that's a tough call. I would probably write the extra scene. If it's unnecessary, an editor will tell you to cut it.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'd add the scene, it would definitely tug the heart strings all the more at the grave scene. But I'm a romantic too!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

happy anniversary!

and yes, the romantic in me says put it in. :)

The Character Therapist

Greg C said...

I think that one last meeting may be a good thing even if there isn't any romance. Maybe just a brief get together where they tell each other they are ok with the way things turned out. That's just my opinion.

Who me? Lazy?

Lazy Writer said...

Happy Anniversary! It's hard to give an opinion of how your book should end without having read it. I think if you have several people saying the same thing, it's definitely something you should consider.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I think I might need a little more; love needs the bloom, you know what I mean? But overall, sounds like a fantastic story, Terri!


Cindy said...

Happy Anniversary, Terri! 32 years, that's amazing. My anniversary is next week :) Nine years!

Oh, I had to read through all these responses because I'm curious what everyone else's opinions are! I sooo wanted that last scene between Lizzy and her love...but I still think the book worked without it. In fact, it flowed better with the rest of the book when you did it that way.

I like that line in your first paragraph of this post. "Lizzy, a self-proclaimed murderess, wanna-be-writer and mother of two teens who is wearing too many hats and sinking from grief and guilt." If you had a little bit more in there about the plot of the book, you'd have a fun little hook :)

carolynyalin said...

I like it the way you described it.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Seems to me there are a couple competing issues at work here: What you the writer wants/likes and what the reader wants/likes.

That is, you probably like it as is…if not, you’d have written it differently. However, I think most readers like closure. They invest time and emotional energy in their work and want to feel like they got their money worth. That means—by and large—they like happy endings, and clear plot resolutions with no ambiguity. No filling in the blanks.

So, this is a long winded way of saying…Do you write for yourself or, for your readers. If yourself, hooray, you’re brave and just keep doing it. However, don’t expect readers to follow if you’re not meeting their needs. If you’re writing for readers, it means you may have to…compromise seems a bit harsh…”adjust” your standards, because it is, in the end, important to sell books.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Stephanie Faris said...

I think sometimes it can actually be more rewarding for the writer to hint that the couple might be together at some point in the future than to actually show it. Or even to show that he still loves her. Tying up loose ends doesn't always mean the couple ends up living 'happily ever after.' Sometimes it's more about the heroine's journey and the love affair is actually within her.

Karen Lange said...

What's your heart telling you? I don't know which would be better, guess one obvious key is for readers to be able to follow it. I don't like it when a book doesn't tie loose ends up. I do prefer happy endings, but not super sappy ones. And I think you can still lead into a sequel with a happy ending. My two cents for the day...:) Blessings and Happy Anniversary!

Sande said...

For what you've given, I would like to have ends tied up even if it is only showcasing her honerable choices. I need closure.

Pat's Place said...

Hmmm! I think I would have to read it to see how it flows from the story line to the last scene. But follow your gut feeling--after all, it IS your story!

Nancy said...

Yes, add the reunion. Whatever kind of book it is, there's always room for romance. Have a wonderful anniversary.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

You're plot hits close to home for me. I think I'd like to see some of the happy times in the relationship instead of cutting to the whole grief ending.

Susan :)

Anonymous said...


The romance sounds like a sub plot that needs to be resolved. I haven't read the book so I don't know if you've done it or not. If not you need to.

On another issue, no matter how much she's improved over the course of the book it would seem that society would demand a little justice for the murder.

Ed VanDeMark

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm not sure yet! I'd say if you want the reader to have an extremely emotional experience, with tears and the works, to show a reunion scene. It will bring the reader that much closer to the characters. But, the book is ultimately about Lizzy's growth, not the romance, so you might want to leave as is.

Have a terrific weekend!!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Sounds to me like people are asking for "closure" of some sort. Tough decision, I'm sure!


sarah said...

wanted to wish you (and your husband) a very happy 32nd. As for the book, - hmmm. not sure what to suggest except you got some great input here.

T. Anne said...

32 Years? You are my hero!!!!

Happy Belated anniversary~~~

And Yes, please let them get together one more time. I love little neat bows on things. =)

Truth4thejourney said...

Happy anniversary! I agree with many who say to write it and then the editor's can scrap it if it doesn't really fit in.

Sounds like a great book - although I like happy endings. Hmmm but that isn't always real life, is it. :)

Congrats on finishing your book! That is fantastic!!!

Sonya Lee

Amy Tate said...

Hmmmm. Sounds like a great book, I'd love to read it. It's hard for me to say without reading it. With that being said, if she has one final encounter before his death, it may solidify the fact that she is o.k. about it in the end. Can't wait to hear more about it!

Laura King said...

Absolutely leave it the way you wrote it! Too many details is like letting him see too much skin too early...takes all the wonder and dreaming about what you've got under the clothes...
True romance doesn't have to be spelled out, and is better left to the imagination.
My hubby and I celebrate 31 years in Dec. What a ride!!