I've finally realized why it has been such slow going (slogging!) on LOVE IS THE BRIDGE, my paranormal/techie romantic suspense ghost story. Some of y'all will remember this one as having started out as SONG FROM THE HEART with Paige the goody-goody . . . at least fifteen years ago. It's quite different now, as far as plot. (And she's not so goody-two-shoes.) I have the first 3/4 of the book. It's just the final bit that is messing with me.
At least I know what's missing now.
To set the scene: a ghost is pursuing Paige because it thinks she is the reincarnation of its old love, the Swedish Nightingale Jenny Lind. Or is it all an elaborate hoax done by some crazy stalker who has it in for both Paige and her new friend Alan? If it's a hoax, it sure is elaborate, and the hoaxer is an accomplished hacker who keeps screwing up Paige's life and Alan's business. If it's a ghost . . . well, Alan doesn't even believe in ghosts, but he's starting to think that the only way to get rid of this one (which has infested his business, a music studio where he does jingles for commercial radio and Internet radio clients, because it "heard" Paige singing there) is to treat it as if it is a real entity and convince it that Paige is NOT the person he thinks she is.
Okay. In the last fourth of the book, they "exorcise" the studio, first electronically and then by means of music (it makes sense in context, I promise). The entity is persuaded to leave via a spiritual chant and musical "event" of sorts. Poof, there it goes, and we are left to rebuild what it has destroyed . . . but it has also brought these two together, which is Fate and so forth. Yay?
BUT! What's missing here is . . . that I haven't ever been able to come up with a way to convince the entity that Paige is not the person he thinks she is and that he should go on to the next world, where he will find the real Jenny he seeks and will at last find peace. We "send him away" by means of ritual (basically), but HEY, this is a powerful entity. He wouldn't GO away for any reason (he kind of has to consent to leave) unless he were made to understand and believe that he has been in error. He'd just come back again. He still thinks she is the person he is after--how will we make him believe that she is NOT so that he'll leave peacefully?
I tried to say that Paige didn't know stuff that Jenny would've known, but of course she could be faking it, so my character (the ghost character!) didn't buy that. It didn't care if she looked somewhat different, because of course your second entry into the material world wouldn't necessarily look like the old you (even if the ghost claims her voice is EXACTLY the same). It didn't buy the historical arguments I dug up in my research. So I'm in a fix.
I have to come up with some reason that the ghost would suddenly gasp and say, "Of course! I should've known!" and agree that she is not the person he wants, and that he should return to the correct plane of existence (he crossed over from Limbo . . . again, I hope I've "explained" this in the first part of the book) to reunite with the real Jenny (or meet his proper fate, in whatever sense.) I got nothin'.
I can only hope that some brainstorming will help.
Help . . . ?