Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Happily Ever After

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,

Happy Reading!



  1. Okay, I have to know the name of the movie!!

    I bought a HQN novel because I knew the author was a contemporary romance novelist. And the comment on the cover was by a NY Times author who enjoyed the book.

    While I was reading it, I was waiting for the hero to come into play. The first eight or so chapters was about the heroine and her mother. No idea how that book was ever published. Or maybe I missed something? But needless to say, I never finished reading it, and chalked that up as a waist of money!

    I HATE being disappointed, especially in movies!

  2. Okay, Toni...I'll tell you the name of the movie, but I'll e-mail it to you...just in case on the off chance there's someone out there who doesn't want it spoiled for them! Someone who has no idea what's in store if they actually do watch it. Although, maybe they should be warned!

  3. Agree with you, Debra. Romances need happy ever after endings. There's nothing worse than feeling totally let-down at the end of a book or film. A reader has to know that H/h will get together in the end but has to be kept wondering how on earth it is going to happen, right until the last two or three pages.
    And, Toni, there are plenty of books out there which seemingly break all the 'rules' and still get published. That's exactly what makes me so cynical about those who list these rules as if they are set in stone!

  4. I like watching HEA movies over and over again. I know how they will end. It's the process of getting to that end that I enjoy.

  5. Paula...I agree, these so called "rules" should be tossed out the window.

    Ana...we watch movies over and over again, too, when we have favorites. Can't say this one will go on that list, although I'm sure I'll break down and watch it again at some point. At least the ending won't take me completely by surprise the next time around.

  6. The ONLY movie where I cry every time I watch it is 'Apollo 13.' Not a romance, of course, but I KNOW it has a happy ending (I watched it all in 'real life' when it actually happened in 1970 LOL), but everytime those astronauts break the radio silence, and you see all the reactions of their loved ones, it gets to me and I gulp and blubber. That's what romances should do for a reader too!

  7. And yay for rule-breaking, Debra!