Quite simply, I write and read romance for the happily ever after. In today's world, having a guarantee that things are going to work out in the end is no small thing. The media (fact and fiction) is filled with tragedy.
Point in case, last night my girlfriend and I were watching a movie. It was one we'd been wanting to watch for a while, featuring a couple of our favorite actors, and were finally getting around to seeing. The movie was billed as a "romantic drama", so I figured it was right up my alley. The perfect tone for a girlie night.
Throughout the movie, the hero and heroine are faced with life's difficulties: family tragedies and issues, relationship concerns, life in general. The usual fare for romance: goal, motivation, and plenty of conflict. So we get toward the end, and things are looking good. The hero and heroine have declared their love and the secondary characters have begun to resolve some of their issues as well. As we're watching, my friend keeps saying she feels like something bad is going to happen. I assure her it's not, I mean after all, it's time for the happily ever after.
Nope. Hero gets killed. (Of course this compells everyone else to realize the value and precious gift of life and allows them to fully move on from their past issues, however...) It's twelve hours later and I'm still trying to process. I feel let down, angry, hurt, and a little shell-shocked that this is how things ended. (I'm not sure if I'll ever watch this movie again, which is a bummer, because up until the 'are-you-freaking-kidding-me?' ending, I was really enjoying it and the actor in it.)
With true tomance. This is never a problem. Along the way it may seem as though your characters are never going to find a way to work things out and get past the conflict(In fact, a good author makes sure you feel that way.), but they always do. It's guaranteed.
Even in the tough economic times we're having lately, statistics show that romance sales are up. People need that happily ever after now more than ever.
So, on that note...I have some writing to do.
Until next time,