Writing a novel is hard. There’s no getting around it. Trying to create words and sentences that flow into each other nicely, develop characters and plots, and maybe even create an entire new world? These are all really difficult, and it’s easy to forget about some things while writing.
Forgetting, however, is exactly what I want to talk about. I’ve been noticing lately that many authors will introduce a plot element or subplot at the beginning of the story, but they won’t come back to it again at the end. Other times, a character arc will start, but the character will end up right back where she started at the end of the novel. It’s frustrating for us to get caught up in a plot element in a partial, only to read the synopsis and find that it’s not mentioned after the first three chapters.
Here’s an extreme example. Let’s pretend that J.K. Rowling never wrote another Harry Potter book after Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The sixth Harry Potter book ended the way it was written, with Harry getting ready to search for Horcruxes and fight Voldemort, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows never happened. It would have been monumentally frustrating (especially for someone who loves the Harry Potter books as much as I do) to have had over ten years of exposition leading to the final book and battle, only to have no battle at all.
What I’m trying to say is, as you’re proofreading your manuscripts, make sure that the plot and character elements introduced at the beginning don’t disappear from the rest of your stories. If a character is unemployed and looking for a job at the beginning of the story, don’t put her in the same position at the end – it makes the story itself feel pointless. We want to finish learning about your characters, find out whodunit or whether the guy will end up with the girl of his dreams. And we will – provided those endings are written.
Hope this helps! Good luck with your writing!