AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK...
I thought it really appropriate that since I was blogging at Happily Ever After, that Iwould write about...well, happy ever afters. I mean it's what we all want? Right! Trouble is, for our characters, it suaually comes at the end of...well... trouble and angst and heart ache and all the stuff in between. But then the happy ending is worth it after a tumultuous path getting there.
I asked fellow romance writers to share their thoughts on happy endings...
Author Abbey MacInnis, who also writes as Eve Knight says...I think for a couple to be happy, there must be mutual respect between them. Arguing is fine. In fact it's healthy to fight, as long as there's good co9mmunication between the couple, and respecting each other if disagreements do arise. Providing support, whether its emotional security, or supporting their dreams can help reaffirm their own self-worth and self esteem too. Affection and passion :) (I do write romance) is important too becuase that can cross over in helping to improve communciation.
And that's the thing. As romance writers we also know the reality of life, we can be quite cyncial, but we have to believe there is a way forward.
So we have to make sure our characters talk, that their words arent' just going round in circles. They have to find the way forward.
Author Sandra Edwards writes...For me an HEA happens when two people love and respect each other enough to make the commitment to spen their lives together.
Writer friend, Helen, says...I bleieve in a Happy Ever After. When someone asks me what is the essential ingredient I immediately say trust. Specifically, emotional trust. When you invest yourself in someone and they in you, the true integrity of that relationship is shown by how much you can trust them to love, honor and not to judge you in your successes, or failures.
Love that phrase...EMOTIONAL TRUST. And integrity and honor. They are true chracteriestics we need to bring to our characters as their stories unfold. Without them they they may not be able to have their own happy endings.
Writing happy endings is so rewarding. In HE'S THE ONE I was blown away by the remarkable change in my alpha male I remember re-reading it after having left it for a few weeks, and saying ..."Oh, god, I wrote that." It was so exciting, so romantic and beautiful. I was very proud of myself as a writer.
Author Nalini Singh's article says to punish your characters, and also to find five things that they don't want to happen/or do, and then make it happen. A hero I have just written would never have cried. I made him cry as he realised he had lost the woman he loved, and it was too late. For me that worked. Another scene i was so very proud of.
Happy ever after stories take us out of the real world for just a moment. They revive our spirit and give us hope and help us believe that all will be okay, in the end. It has to be, because hope is what fuels us forward, just as it does for our characters.
And so with that, dear readers, Iwill leave you to your happy endings...
And happy reading
Read an excerpt of Jane's new release - HE'S THE ONE