When Borealis Press requested my novel, I had to make a decision about the ending. For months I had considered writing a different one. I like happy endings, but I think the new last chapter creates better dramatic irony.
Now I have to send the manuscript to the editor. Am I really finished tinkering with it?
To help me decide, I reviewed the chapter-by-chapter chronology and indicated whether the dramatic tension in each chapter was high, medium or low. After the high drama of the first two chapters, there were several low ones in a row. Too many of those and a reader loses interest. Solution: I wrote in a confrontation between Kilian and his foster mother.
Oh oh! In Chapter 8, Kilian is looking at a tattoo design that he wants to show his girlfriend. Nowhere is it mentioned again. Solution: when Kilian gets a summer job at the same fast food restaurant as Hailey, he shows her the design. She doesn’t seem too impressed, so he drops the idea.
Other than those two issues, I think the manuscript is ready to go.