Monday, May 23

Just one rule...

"There's only one rule left. Just one. I think it needs to be left alone."

"Oh, me, too."

I may have the words a little wrong and I am so sorry not to remember the full name of the indie author I was talking to. Her first name is Selena and she knows Kristi from their Crimson Romance days. We were talking at dinner at the Chicago North Spring Fling over the weekend, about how things had changed in romance. How many things were better. How one of us--that would be me--missed some things about the old days. (Note: the writer I'm talking about is Selena Laurence. It was so nice to meet her!)

And then Selena said some writers she knew wanted to get rid of the whole Happily Ever After thing in romance. That was when she said, "There's only one rule left."

I'm not going to borrow trouble and quote anything else that I may not have quite right, but I do wonder what others think of this. Do you want to see that last rule of romance bent so far that it will no longer be recognizable? Do you want to get rid of it all together? Or do you want to see it left alone?

A shout-out to my husband this week. That's the guy I'm with in the picture. Our 45th wedding anniversary is Sunday. I have said (nauseatingly often) that my worst day with him is better than my best day without him. We have had plenty of both and it still holds true. It's what Happily Ever After is all about and I am eternally grateful that yes indeedy, it does exist. I think it needs to be left alone, too.

Happy Anniversary, honey. Love you.

20 comments:

  1. Wha-at?

    I'll admit, earlier I didn't *get* why a romance *had* to have the HEA or even the HEAFN....but now I do. If you don't want a happy ending, go read general fiction or New Adult. But romance HAS to have the HEA! Otherwise it's just lumped in there with other fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with Molly--if you don't want the HEA, then read women's fiction or any other kind of fiction. LOL.

    I think there's some comfort in knowing everything will end okay and you're just in it for the journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I even want an HEA in women's fiction, although it's often a different kind of one. But I agree with you and Molly--if it matters to you that there's a choice in that, go to general fiction.

      Delete
  3. There are so many novels that end badly, I'd rather read something that ends happily. That's what I can always find in romance. I say leave well enough alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I love the KNOWing it's going to end well.

      Delete
  4. I want that last rule to stay...I'm okay with happy-for-now...but I for me, romance *is* the happily-ever-after. It's the fairy tale, and it's a guarantee that, at the end of the book, the reader's heart isn't going to get ripped out with a death/divorce/other big bad thing. I'm okay for the 'rules' about POV characters and story arcs changing...but I want the HEA, damnit!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you say what you really think, Kristi? :-) And yes'm, I totally agree with you! Except for the thing with the Oxford comma? That needs to not change, too.

      Delete
  5. Our readers depend on that HEA. In some cases, it's all they have to give them hope and a little happiness in there lives. Those are the women I want to write for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I want, too, Sandy. Thanks for chiming in.

      Delete
  6. Happy anniversary to you and Duane!(Our 33rd was Saturday.) I've never been a fan of tragedy. As a reader, I need a satisfying ending to every story I read in any genre. Good must triumph, and in romance that means a happy ending for the hero and heroine -- together. I don't need a wedding or even a proposal, but I need to know their relationship will endure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want that endurance, too. While I LIKE satisfying endings in books of other genres, romance (and Women's Fiction if I'm honest about it, but I seldom separate the two in my mind) is the only place I insist on it. Thanks, Alison!

      Delete
  7. Yes, have a good one/ n think there are many definitions to happy ever after and only the story and the writer can decide the best ending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right--often the story determines the ending a lot more than the writer does! :-)

      Delete
  8. It's not a romance, or a book, but the director of the movie "Dodgeball" originally ended it with the "reality" of the ragtag-unskilled-underdog team losing to the sleek-corporate-giant team. The response was so vocal against it, he was forced to change it so there was a Happy Ending and a trophy for the Average Joes team. EVERYONE wants a happily-ever-after once in awhile, and our genre helps fill that need. :-) Happy anniversary, Liz!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ava. I know I really want that happy ending in sports movies--nice to know I'm not the only one!

      Delete
  9. I need my HEA! If I didn't, I wouldn't read romance or write it. I've always bee a Pollyanna about life in general, but also about love specifically and I want everyone to live happily ever after when they fall in love.

    Happy anniversary to you and Duane! We're coming up on 43 years in June--HEA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nan--long live the Pollyannas among us. We'll write HEAs until they close our laptops for good.

      Delete