The title of this post is the title of the story I just finished. Because I want to delve into the fantasy-writers.org monthly challenge (and hopefully another challenge) soon, I resolved to finish it, and did so yesterday ... well after 3am.
I knew the flashbacks would make it longer, but I wasn't aware how long that would be. The completed length of the story currently is about 8,600 words. It turned out that I used several points from my idea exercise, though I dropped a few. For instance, I had given my MC a necklace from an old lover she claimed was her daughter's father; in the story, I never used the necklace and the issue of the other half of her daughter's parentage is only brushed past.
I'm not totally sure of the strength of the story. I used vessels that trapped spirits could be placed into to be reborn - but how satisfying is it to be given a limited, artificial body? A reader has to believe this is worth doing, or the motive of the narrative begins to fall apart in multiple places.
One part I am very pleased with is that you don't discover until a third of the way through the story why, exactly, Nariv needs to reclaim her sword so desperately. The mystery falls into place through the flashbacks. I hope it creates dual lines of tension instead of diffusing it.
I continue to have a horrible time writing the last few paragraphs of a story. I'm never quite sure precisely where to break and how to finish on a sentence that creates a strong conclusion. I don't remember always having this problem; it seems to have developed. Maybe I'm more picky? Hope so, as the alternative is I'm getting worse ...