WELCOME TO RWA/NYC’s HAPPY ENDINGS BLOG TOUR!
June being the month of Brides,
we thought it apropos to talk about Happy Endings.
Visit us this week and learn what some of our members think about the much sought after and often elusive “Happy Ever After.”
And they lived happily ever after…
How many times have we seen some version or depiction of that sentence at the end of a romance novel? I can’t cite an exact number, however, in my humble opinion, entirely too many. First, let me say that I am not criticizing authors who choose to wrap up their stories in this manner. As authors and readers we each have our own unique and equally relevant ideas regarding romance literature. Some of us gravitate to the more traditionally accepted HEA ending. This is where the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset at the end of the book. They are eternally suspended in their perfect relationship bubble for the remainder of time. Although this has been the standard—we’ve seen this kind of ending dominate the romance genre for some time now—there are some of us whose tastes tend to bend to something slightly different—the happy for now ending.
Happy for now endings present situations where the couple ends up together, they are relatively happy after battling through whatever conflicts that were pitted against them during the story, but the author doesn’t resolve every problem or conflict with a neat and tidy solution. If you need a visual, this is the difference between the two types of endings. An example of HEA is after marrying, Cinderella and Prince Charming live happily ever after. While HFN is Cinderella informing Prince Charming that even though she loves him, and is happy to be spending the rest of her life with him, after spending years on her hands and knees taking care of her evil step-family, she’s not about to wash, fold, iron, scrub, or cook another thing and he’d better deal with it the best way he knows how.
Is the HFN ending perfect, absolutely not, but that’s why it honestly appeals to me. HFN, in my opinion, allows authors to bring realism into their stories. Why should we want realism in our romance, don’t we read this genre as a means of escapism and fantasy? Yes we do, but we should also strive to connect stories that our readers can see themselves in as well. Although I love the idea of Prince Charming coming to save me, I connect more with stories that depict situations that I as a human being could easily find myself in the middle of. The books I remember, the books I re-read over and over again are the books about real people and their perfectly flawed emotions, thoughts, and actions. These are the books where the characters are not only willing to fight the world for their love, but each other as well. I want to feel raw emotion, the hurt and the pain that can often times be part and parcel to the most wonderful real-life love affairs in our memories and present lives. I want to see relationships that reveal both the good and the bad that goes along with love and being in love.
So for me, the perfect ending is never really all that perfect to begin with. It’s beautiful, yes, but it’s also messy, complicated, and downright difficult at times. But if we really think about it, isn’t that exactly what love is too?♥
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LaQuette—Romance Author: Embracing my crazy…one character at a time. Author of Interracial, African American, Erotic, and Romantic Suspense romance novels. A native of Brooklyn, New York, LaQuette spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator. Writing--her escape from everyday madness--has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she'd forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic. She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, her website, and her Facebook group LaQuette’s Lounge. Website: www.laquettelikes.com.