I’ve been dinking around with this one story story for a while now, trying to figure out why it wasn’t working. I finally figured out that it was the ending — it was going well up to the last few pages, but then I wasn’t sticking the landing. The immediate incident being told in the story was over, but there were ramifications for later on, and the protag had plans for what she was going to do in the future as opportunity and resources presented themselves.
It kind of sounded like the first chapter — or maybe the prologue — of a novel, rather than a stand-alone short. Except there really wasn’t enough pending action to support something novel length. :/ There was too much blah-blah-blah at the end, too much speculation about what the protag would do some day in response to the immediate situation. It just sort of trailed off rather than giving a firm ending. Not good. This story’s been bounced a couple of times before, and now I can see why.
I chopped off about the last thousand words and rewrote the ending. I figured out a different way the protag could respond to the situation, riskier and more immediate, but also more intense and satisfying. Hoping this one works. [crossed fingers]