Happily Ever After!!!

It feels so wonderful to have my website back again! I’ve spent the last several hours working on the content of several pages. I’ll be adding more soon. At the moment, I’ll be happy to see links working. :)

As I was working, I came across a discussion of the “rule” for happily ever after in romance. As usual, there were the typical derogatory remarks about how nothing is real in a romance and it’s all about the hot bods and the eroticism. Why, oh why, does the hero and heroine have to walk off into the sunset? Why can’t one of them die? Why can’t the reader experience the “real” emotions of pain and anguish?

Why are pain and anguish the only “real” emotions? What is the point of reading about people who fail to realize their dreams and never rise above the adversity in their lives and relationships? How many people would enjoy reading a mystery that was never solved? Unsolved Mysteries, certainly, but in the mystery genre? How many people would watch CSI if they never solved a case? Or House if he never managed to heal someone? How big would Stephen King have gotten in the thriller genre if his books didn’t thrill?

Yes, Gone With the Wind was beautiful in it’s tragedy. Many books are. If you want to feel haunted and sad and hopeless about fulfilling certain dreams, tragedy is certainly the market for you. But there are other “real” emotions to surround yourself with. Hope, fulfillment, optimism, love.

How many people do you know that are on anti-depressants? I have my own. It’s called a romance novel. If I see two people struggling to be together and I read through hundreds of pages about it, then they should end together or what was the point of reading about their struggle? If one of them dies, then there should be a reason why they have to be dead, that makes sense, or what was the point of killing them?

Mark Twain said “Truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” The same with death in fiction. We use stories to understand life, to influence our feelings, enhance our thoughts. Real life is not just about the negative, the depressing or the tragic. Real life is also about happiness and peace and joy.

Personally, I think a good romance mixes the pain and the joy and ends up with the best representation of real life there is. It’s not all sex, hot bods and eroticism. There is some – of course! Who wants to live without ever having sex or close intimacy with another person? A monk or a nun, and that’s about it. But the point is the relationship! The thought that with work and perseverance, we can have a close, lasting bond with another person.

And after hundreds of pages of working and persevering, if we make it work, why is that so horrible?

I think something touched a nerve. What do you think about the HEA in romance? Post in the comments over the next few days and I’ll be drawing one lucky person to win an autographed copy of Betrayed!

2 comments to “Happily Ever After!!!”

  1. Danni
     · March 26th, 2008 at 6:19 pm · Link

    I personally think the HEA in romance is important to most of the readers out there. It is not the funny or happy stuff that happened in the middle of the story but the sad ending that tends to stick with you when you have finished such a book. If one of my friends or I read a book with a sad ending we will still pass it on to be read (when there is nothing else to read) but we do so with a warning that the end stinks. We also call each other to hash out which books we have read and which we have not. If we remember an author who had a book with a stinky ending we will pass any new book they publish over in favor for a author who wrote a book that we liked. Who wants to be sad at the end of a journey? Real life is sad everyday, all you have to do is turn on the evening news to see that. When I read I do so to escape the sad stuff and enjoy myself for a little while in a story I am sure will have a happy ending. That is my opinion on HEA in romance.


  2. Jamie Hansen
     · March 26th, 2008 at 6:32 pm · Link

    Hi Danni,

    I couldn’t agree more. Especially the part where the sadness tends to stick with you. Who wants to feel down all the time?