I gave my latest book to my favorite beta readers, and they liked it except for the very ending, i.e. the last 20 pages, which they thought fell short and a bit rushed. I therefore decided to try and lengthen it.
One option would have been just be to lengthen the ending by sustaining a longer climax, and a longer epilogue perhaps. I went for the second option, that was to insert a new substantial amount of plot to the manuscript. After three weeks, I am still stuck at the story planning phase.
The original plot was along the lines of the "overcoming the monster" archetype:
- Learn about the monster, get a glimpse of it.
- MC prepares to fend off the monster.
- The monster power is revealed and looks like the MC is no match for it.
- Epic climatic confrontation, the peak is when the MC is about to lose everything
- MC manages to slay the monster.
My plan was to spare the monster and hook another archetypal plot to the 5th step. I have three concerns:
Unless I do major editing throughout the entire book, the result may look like a disconnected blob. A bit like glueing two books with the same characters by the cover.
There may be backlash in going through a very strong climatic point, only to discover that it is not over. It feels that I would owe the reader an even stronger climax near the end.
I could insert the foreshadowing of an even greater one, and resolve it as a new fifth step of a larger "kill the monster" plot. As I sketched this on paper, it sounded like a boring repetition and that is why I focused on trying to glue a different archetype.
The question is: how to avoid the obvious pitfalls when trying to seamlessly glue an archetypal plot onto the back of an existing story?