So, the good thing about giving your manuscript to two very good readers who have had nothing to do with the project is that they get to taste your offering as a freshly presented feast.
The bad thing is, they can detect where you haven't added enough spice. In this case, the entre is not up to par.
The solution? I need to write more chapters at the start to show you, dear reader, what I fully experienced and saw in that initial dream: the most passionate and exciting love between Rosie and Fleance. And I MUST do this because I need you to want with all your heart Rosie and Fleance to be together at the end.
This news came from my publisher around the same time I was writing the brilliant end of the second to last chapter. What I wrote there needed me to write more at the start - needed? No, demanded.
I guess I won't be finishing the book tonight.
My problem is that I have a full week of teaching. Today, Monday, I did not get home until 5:30 and then had a meeting back at school at 7pm. Tomorrow, it's teacher only day but it will be full on until 5pm; Wednesday - meetings until midday then teaching all afternoon and then meetings again until 5pm; ditto Thursday. Throw into the mix the mummy responsibilities I have and things are tight.
But, though it means more work, I'm pleased because what these readers picked up (and what my publisher and I suspected) was a bit of a weakness to the start.
So, homework for 16 year old and her boyfriend: tell me EVERYTHING you did, felt, thought, when you began to like each other and when did you know you loved each other? Give me details, conversations, jokes, it all cos yer mumma is getting old and may not remember the same about her first loves (yes, there have been a few!)
I discussed this with a couple of kids today and they all nodded wisely (as only teenagers can) and launched into a heated argument as to why Bella (from Twilight) was not so cool in books whatever than she was at the start. We don't like b**ches as our girls - not cool. We want them angry and powerful and capable and able to affect their futures but we don't want pouting, spoilt madams who slap the hero in the face. Our heroines are above that.
I want it right. I want you to see what I experienced in my dream all those months ago - cos, dang, it was great.