Saturday, May 4, 2013

And They Lived Happily Ever After...

I realize it's a requirement with most publishers nowadays, but I must a reader, I grow weary of HEAs. Not that I don't think we shouldn't have them or our characters shouldn't have them, but...well, I'm like never surprised anymore. :/ I know asap they're gonna have a happy ending.

True, some books give you a fun ride to that ending, but sometimes, they don't.

And here's my question: What has happened to the shock factor? Why do I rarely pick up a book that shocks me in the end? I like to be shocked. I like to be left sitting there with my mouth open, my eyes wide. I like an excuse to yell at my husband, "OMG!!! You wouldn't believe what this author did! She killed him!! Whaaa!"

We have tragedy in movies and on television, why not in books? The same women who watch those soap operas full of cheating and murdering spouses claim they can't handle a tragic ending in a book. Something is off here.

A book that evokes a major reaction out of me is a good book.

And last but not least, why do all the books end with marriage/finding each other? Does having three screaming children, battling breast cancer, finding and losing jobs, mortgage payments, and in-laws from hell not constitute happy ever afters? 

Then none of us have one in real life. LOL

Personally, I think that feeling of total happiness doesn't come when you walk down the aisle, but when ten years after marriage, you're sitting there in pajamas, your hair is a mess, you've been sick, vomiting, you look like hell...but the person you married kisses your forehead and asks if you need more 7-Up. You know this person loves you no matter what...

Anyways...look at all the great writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Shakespeare. They did not have HEAs. People died. People went to jail. People committed suicide. Life played out on the page...

So when did this change and why? When did tragic endings become taboo? Why is it all rather cheesy now? 

And yes, I have that HEA in most of my stories. Nobody would accept em if I didn't. *winks* But I'm delivering what readers apparently want. But...why is this? Does nobody care for Shakespeare and Poe anymore? :(



  1. Want my honest opinion? I don't always have to have them and I don't really always like them either. While I'm starting out in the romance genre is not not all I want to write. General fiction does not require a HEA or a HFN ending.

    One of my favorite authors is Nicholas Sparks. You may or may not like him, but many romance readers don't because he does include tragedy. He doesn't always have a HEA (although sometimes he does.)

    I honestly don't just read romance because of this. And I sure don't just want to write it. I have on WIP that is about one man and two women. And no it's not a It's about love and friendship, betrayal and forgiveness. Can't wait to write it someday. It's only in notes form now... but I love the story its going to become.

    Anyway, if you step a little away from the romance genre I think you'll you see you don't have to have this happy ending every single time.

    1. General fiction? Does anyone buy that anymore? LOL. I think it's the e-book industry, period. I did first start out as historical fiction and I totally bombed. The book barely moves. Everyone told me only romance sells and so I began writing my strong heroines holding their own but finding love in the process, thus the HEA requirements. It's lame.

  2. I think more than romance sells. I think you're surrounded by romance writers, as am I, and it tends to make us think that's all there is. But I don't think so.