I find myself putting this in the comment line a fair amount this round. I can just hear the authors who receive it sputtering about how it’s the final chapter, already. Why can’t they just tie up a few loose ends and be done with it!
Boy, I feel your pain. I really do. And I was tempted to simply go through the laundry list of issues that needed to be dealt with to make the story work, but I already know from bitter experience that every single scene, darn near every sentence, needs conflict.
Why? Because without it no matter how pretty, or fun, or seemingly meaningful, the scene, chapter, or entry without conflict is boring.
The first word that comes to my mind when I say boring is “ouch”. You can do everything else right, but if you end up boring, you have lost your audience.
But seriously, conflict is the most powerful tool available to an author for 1] gaining reader interest. 2] keeping reader interest 3] revealing character 4] moving a plot forward 5] developing themes, and did I mention something about reader interest?
Conflict doesn’t need to be melodramatic or large-scale, or even significant, although that’s nice. It simply needs to be something that your reader can relate to and appropriate for the material.
I could say a lot more about it, but I’m trying not to be so long winded. See? I’m in conflict. *grin*