So I’ve got this YA contemporary WIP I’ve been revising / fighting with. The problem used to be the back story, in that there was too much of it, but now the problem is bigger. The problem is the ending.
The ending is bittersweet, starting out insanely bitter and folding nicely into sweet.
The problem is that the bitter part might be too bitter. It’s not even much of an existential ending. There is just something that happens that is very discomforting for the main character that might be equally as troubling for the reader. As in the kind of troubling that makes the reader too upset with the book to enjoy the sweet part of the ending.
So. How do I fix this? Option one involves rewriting the middle, adding facets to this character’s life that make what happens in the bitter part of the ending, not so hard to stomach. Option two involves changing the ending all together so the stakes aren’t as high and the consequences aren’t as hard to swallow.
Have any of you been in a position like this? I wrote this novel knowing how it would end, but now I fear the ending is going to spoil a perfectly good novel. How do you guys fix endings you think the audience might not appreciate?