Friday, March 23, 2007

Happily Ever After, or just ... After?

Which do you prefer: A happily ever after ending, or a plot that is resolved, but not necessarily in a happy way?

6 comments:

Shawna said...

Although happily ever after's are great you can't have them all the time. Who in real life has one that didn't come with a lot of blood, sweat and tears? Happily ever after is the dream and people can achieve it but there has to be some self sacrifice and heartbreak too.

Dani Harper said...

Great question, and the answer for me is BOTH!
IF it's a romance novel, then I really NEED the hero and heroine to get together! REALLY need -- I mean, that's why I'm reading a romance book in the first place, for a little hope and fantasy! If things are still going to be tough for the couple, that's fine. I think there's lots of room for reality in a book of this type and still have the relationship survive.
However, I find myself reading more and more non-romance books these days where the hoped-for relationship may either disintegrate by the end or never materialize at all. I've been surprised at just how satisfying this type of a read could be. Maybe it's because I can relate to that situation, and if it's handled right, I can still take something away from that and feel good that I read it.

Pamela Tyner said...

In romance, I gotta have the HAE. In non-romance, I don't have to have it, but I still like it when it happens :)

Marie Harte said...

I think most people read romance for the HEA. I know I do. There's something about a guaranteed happy ending that puts me in a great mood. I mean, watch the news or read the paper and there's death, injustice and bad things happening to good people all around. And with the divorce rates so high, it's nice to be able to count on some happiness from a book. That said, I do think there's room for painful or not quite happy endings, when in the proper context of another type of book. But for me, gotta have the HEA.
Marie :)

edipet2003 said...

I need a plot resolution at the end, otherwise the book would leave me feeling that I wasted my time, going through the motions and emotions with the characters only to arrive at "...blank..." at the end. The resolution doesn't have to be "classically happy" but it should be postive for at least one or two characters; preferably the lead ones. A good example of what I'm talking about would be the movie currently on the "video-rent" circuit, "Crank" with Jason Statham. All that action and gyration and posturing and fighting and...where does it get him? He dies at the end; in fact it's sort of scripted such that the dead (or flying-about-to-hit-the-ground-splat-and-die) man is telling the story. I felt it was a total waste of my time. How can I appreciate or admire anything he does when he doesn't succeed in stopping that which he fights to stop -- his poisoned blood or something.

A novel should have its preformers at least learn something in the process, about themselves or the world in general, and come to a resolution. Someone should succeed in whatever motive drives them, otherwise the story's meaning and premise are weakened. And if it's the proverbial happy ending, more power to it.

Naniene said...

I'd like to see a good ending for the hero/heroine. It is romance, my favorite genre mixed with a bit of danger or lots as long as they come out of it winners. Love has to prevail especially at the end when the conflicts are resolved ;)