I'm having a bit of a conundrum in my writing life. Having followed my proposal, I've come to "the end" of my plot. But, my word count is oh... 20,000 words shy of a real novel (80,000 words, we'll say.)
Normally, this sort of problem would put me in full tailspin mode. I'm trying, this time, however, to relax a bit. After all, I almost always add lots of words when I revise, and, because I wrote this book so fast (I'm trying to get three books written this year) it hasn't gone through it's usual process of revision through my writers' group.
For those of you who don't know, I'm in a writers' group called Wyrdsmiths. We have a blog, but our actual purpose is to critique each others' work. We meet twice a month in real-time/ real life (tm), on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at a coffee and wine bar in Saint Paul, Minnesota called "The Black Dog." We hand out our work ahead of time either in paper format (preferred) or electronic (last minute), and everyone comes prepared with written comments that we read out loud and then discuss. We've been meeting for over twelve years. And I love it.
I've had other authors ask me how I can stand to have people tell me what's wrong with my book, but I honestly can't imagine writing without knowing possible pitfalls BEFORE my editor sees my book. Right now, for instance, I'm really missing their help. I know that there is probably some muddiness in my heroine's emotional arc, but I'm too close to it to see it. Plus, there are probably moments I thought I "set up," but probably didn't. Hopefully, my fellow Wyrdsmiths will find some of these problems for me.
I'm curious. Do other people have writers' groups? If not, how do you cope when you run into problems like this?