There are few rules when it comes to writing, but one of the few is that a romance novel has a happily-ever-after or a happily-for-now ending. If it doesn’t, it isn’t romance.
I have seen this bashed a lot on social media lately and even in “regular” news. And no, I am not going to link to it and them more publicity. Seems like everyone wants to take a shot at the romance genre, love in general, and the happily-ever-after (HEA) ending the genre demands.
Pssst. It it doesn’t have an HEA or at least happily-for-now ending, it isn’t romance.
And I am not going to apologize for wanting this ending.
To me, it’s not a detractor of the genre. It’s why I read it.
No matter how awful the circumstances, no matter what horrible things happen in the story, I know the author will give me my happily-ever-after.
The bad guys get their comeuppance. The good guys get their happily-ever-after.
Yes, I know it’s not real. It doesn’t have to be for me to enjoy it any more than I suddenly expect any Marvel movie ever to be “real”.
It’s my escape. It’s my form of self-care.
Lately, I need what happy endings I can get. Even a character-focused video game I’ve been playing lately threw me when it killed a main character. I had to restart the whole thing to meet the criteria for the character not to die. Then, at least three more character, two of them main characters, died.
And there was nothing I could do about it. They are scripted to die. I put the stupid game away and haven’t played it since.
The job of a storyteller is find a way for them to live despite the obstacles you set in front of them!! This was wrong on so many level.
I find it interesting at the amount of derision and scorn pointed at the romance genre that I simply don’t see leveled at others. Not that I want it to be. Read what you love and be done with it. But I still find it interesting that genres such as horror or sci-fi don’t face this kind of stigma.
Maybe because Stephen King and Neil Gaimon made them cool.
Maybe because there’s no kissing in them, and we all know how people feel about kissing books.
I don’t need my fiction to reflect the real world.
I need an escape, and that escape doesn’t need to involve lasers, massive explosions, or enormous battles.
Just a kiss will do.