Dear readers, I need your help again. I have finished book three of my interminable trilogy about Phoebe and her steadfast beau. Brimming with triumph, I showed the final two chapters to my critique group last night, and…they didn’t like it.
Here’s their problem. After three books of Phoebe’s not being ready to get married, now finally at the end of book three, she’s ready. Our hero has a Plan, and she says, surprise me.
The surprise is taking all the book’s characters back to Las Vegas, the city where they met, where they will be married in the wedding chapel by the people who first employed Phoebe when she arrived in Vegas at the start of book one. (Now they live in Washington, D.C.) The final scene of book three is everybody just boarded the plane, ready to rest up from the vigorous trials of the day before and me tying up loose ends.
My critique partners didn’t like this because, they said, I have to show the wedding. If I’m going to bring in all the characters for the last scene, I need to bring in the wedding chapel characters, too. They said readers have been waiting for three books to get to the wedding, so I have to write it. The wedding is what it’s all about. They said that’s all the loose-end-tying-up that I need.
Ugh. I do not want to write the wedding. I disagree that the wedding is what it’s all about. (And I’ve had plenty of agents and editors tell me this trilogy isn’t romance, so I feel like I’m right on that one.) I do not want the last scene of the book to be in Vegas, where the protagonists no longer live. (Aristotle’s theory of unity of place!) I do not want to reintroduce the wedding chapel and the wedding chapel characters, who have not been seen since book one. For anyone reading this book as a standalone, I’ll be introducing new characters on the last two pages, which I think, will require too much explanation and backstory. I think the wedding is anticlimactic, and it will be a pain to write. So I don’t want to do it.
What do you think? If you’ve read a trilogy about two people who aren’t getting married, do you want to see the wedding at the end? Thank you, as always, for your insights!