I've been reading a book lately that has some similar themes and ideas as my book. The problem is, I didn't really like it. This of course made me worry, is my book boring? I figured out the problem with this book and I am hoping I didn't make the same mistakes.
This other book didn't make you work for the payoff. I am going to use the princess bride to explain what I mean. Not only because it is one of my favorites but also because it written so perfectly.
Wesley has to work hard for his eventual payoff. I mean think about it- the girl is constantly taunting him, and he just keeps doing anything she wants. When he finally gets her, he is kidnapped by pirates and almost killed. Once he gets back to her, she engaged to a king, and unattainable again. He gets her back only to brave the fire swamp and then as he survives that- he ends up in the pit of despair. After all that, he gets killed by the evil king. But as we know, death cannot stop true love, plus he was only mostly dead. He ends up getting the girl but man did he have to work for it.
This try and fail cycle makes the payoff so much sweeter. I think it might be one of the secrets to truly great stories, and why trilogies are so popular. Reading through three books makes us really work for the happily ever after, or not depending on what you are reading.