I recently got the chance to do an author interview on Avery's Book Nook and really enjoyed the questions, especially the one about advice for aspiring authors. I've given this piece of advice a few times because it was one of the best things I ever did for my own writing: TAKE A BREAK! I'm not talking about taking a lengthy vacation right in the middle of writing a story if you're on a roll. I'm talking about letting the novel rest once you've completed a first draft or major revision. Let your words stay as they are for a few weeks (Stephen King suggests 6-8 weeks in his book On Writing), then come back to your story with a fresh perspective. What do you do for 6-8 weeks while your unfinished masterpiece just sits there waiting for you? Work on something else, anything else. You'll be glad you did, because when you come back to your novel with new skills, a clear mind, and bursting-at-the-seams excitement, you'll be amazed the improvement. In this author interview on Avery's Book Nook, I came clean about how long it took me to finish Celia on the Run, which I began writing several years ago. I just didn't know what to do with a strange story like this at first, I couldn't end it to my satisfaction, but I was too invested in the characters and partial manuscript to abandon it. So, I took a major break from this story (way more than 6-8 weeks, more like a year), but in that time I wrote about 3 other full length novels then came back to Nick and Celia's road trip where I was newly inspired and finished it with a bang.
If the plot just isn't working, if the ending is lame (and you know it), don't give up hope, just make sure your computer files are backed up and take that much needed break!
Check out the full interview here: http://www.averysbooknook.com/2012/10/author-interview-sarah-mandell.html