I’ve just rewritten the ending to my new novel, Music Box. I have been thinking of this book as a romance, however serious the subject matter of bullying. In the romance genre, of course, there are two main protagonists who fall in love, and there is a happy ending. However, Music Box diverged from this model early on, when I decided to have three main protagonists and three point of view characters:
- Jonah, a boy who is being bullied in school;
- Paul, the high school music teacher; and
- Davoud, the owner of the local music store.
Originally, Paul and Davoud were to come together over their mutual interest in helping Jonah. Things went somewhat afield when Jonah managed to develop a crush on another student, Billy. While Billy isn’t a POV character, he’s now a more prominent character, and his relationship with Jonah is now a major sub-plot.
Still stuck on the idea that I was writing a romance, my original ending had Paul and Davoud happily engaged, Jonah and Billy at a point of mutual understanding, and the bullying situation more-or-less resolved. However, once I had a complete draft of the novel, I found that I was not satisfied with the resolution of the bullying issue. That is what I just changed, for the better I think. One thing is clear, this is no longer a traditional romance. Hopefully, it is a better novel for all that.