I'm at that point where you're re-writing as you examine (for the third time) your story to make sure it's in tip-top shape. The reason was because I've had a few test-writers give me some problems. Even though some of them didn't say anything, it was evident that all readers stopped at the exact same point. The story isn't primarily a Romance, but it is a Fantasy with romance... sort of. ... a little ... ok, maybe not. The key is that I understand what makes a good Romance, and what the clichéd points are, but as I try to avoid them, I run into my own problems. Now that I've explained myself, the romantic sub-plot. ------------------ In this world, most of the ruling class of people are made up of a race that is generally selfish and corrupted, at least the younger generation. So the Princess is being pushed to find a husband by her next birthday, or her father will choose his successor. Typical Fantasy romance, I know it's been done. The Princess has been brought up by a peasant class on the lower-end of the hierarchy and has kept their traditions. So, there's a strange social conflict with those of her same race. However, there is a hunter who defies the social norm by also associating with the peasant class. He does unusual things that aren't normal by his race's standards such as "cowardly" hunting with a bow, not wearing shoes, and not being a tyrant to the peasant class like others. Ironically enough, neither the hunter or the princess knew of each other's existence until the hunter's squire discovered that the princess didn't wear shoes either. After trying to get the two together, they are both convinced that it is impossible that the other actually exists. In a desperate attempt at escaping her birthday party's ball, the princess leaves and actually meets this hunter. They find out that they have several similar characteristics. Unfortunately, both of them believe that falling in love doesn't actually exist, and go the friendship route. From then on, there isn't a single relationship problem, and they finally become lovers. The hero hunter eventually works up a rescue of his fair princess when they discover their love for each other and actually become a couple. ------------------ I found out that this wasn't working for me. I understand that strong characters in their action life (in this case, war and politics) have a weak side or problems in social or relationship life. (Example: the Kim Possible series. Don't laugh.) However, my characters have every area covered. My princess doesn't really have a passion or worry in the world until almost a third through the story. The hunter has some of his social issues come out, but he's totally cool about it all. They are, what we might call "Mary Sue" meets "Marty Stu". I think that there are some elements I'm missing or something because their personalities really shine at the moment after she runs for her birthday. At that point, a nation is invaded, the king approved a rude and selfish officer to marry the princess, and an entire peasant village is in danger of starvation. I'd love to start the story at her birthday, but that's closing in on a third way through the novel, and misses some events that are necessary that lead up to it. There's another problem/question I'm running into, but I'm posting that in another discussion.