Friday, July 28, 2006

The Happy Ending

So let's finish out the week with the happy ending. This is absolutely necessary in all forms of romance writing, from the sweetest romance down to the steamiest erotic romance on the market. No editor or agent will accept a romance manuscript without it - so be sure your hero and heroine get their happily-ever-after. They don't have to escape disaster unscathed - in fact, your story will be all the better if your hero and heroine emerge from the black moment somehow changed for the better.

The happy ending can't take place unless one or both of your main characters decides they've had enough of the black moment and come to some sort of decision. Maybe John announces on public television that yes, he has published poetry and yes, he's happy about that because it's brought another dimension to his life that he can't get on the football field. Then he excuses himself to find his pretty reporter. Or maybe it's Marsha that leaps first: she quits her job, or goes back to her old one, and searches John out to say how sorry she is.

You should generally not let your hero and heroine say "I love you" in a romance until you get to the happy ending. They can harbor the secret, or dance around it until your reader is breathless with anticipation - but you don't want to ruin the anticipation by having them admit their feelings halfway through the book. Every time they take a step forward, your hero and heroine should take two steps back (in an uncontrived way!), until the final leap that brings them to the happy ending. Then, they're free to confess their love and stroll away into the sunset (or off the football field). You can end with a wedding, or at least some sort of implied commitment, but your reader should close the book with a satisfied sigh. After all, you've done your job in the book, and proven that love is possible in spite of the odds. Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

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