Tuesday, May 28, 2013

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY

J.P. Bowie

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!
When I started writing I don’t think I had HEA’s too much on my mind. Just finding an ending was the goal, and if it ended happily, that was okay. What I was mostly writing were mysteries, so of course no way was the story going to end happily for everyone. All those nasty villains had to come to a suitably nasty end.

Writing m/m romance, the standard ending more or less demanded by many publishers is invariably HEA or HFN, when in reality it probably should be SYS—see you sometime, or LDL—let’s do lunch. As we all know HEA is the ideal, but it’s not easy to achieve, and mostly doesn’t last—even Cinderella and Prince Charming’s marriage was beset by problems in the many Disney sequels, mostly due to the WSM—wicked stepmother.

Me? I’m a romantic, and a believer in happy endings, and even love at first sight.

I hear it so many times, or read it rather, in reviews, this horror of ‘instalove’ as it’s called. Okay, call it instalust if you must, because after all we men do tend to think with our nether regions rather quickly. Women, or so I like to think, are more likely to put substance before hotness, but a guy can get hot and heavy without so as much as swapping names. I don’t think at that particular moment there’s much thought of an HEA, maybe not even a SYL—see you later—but, in my books at least, there’s been a connection made. After all, my BFF met his LLP—life-long partner—in LSG—Leicester Square gents.

God, but these acronyms could go on forever. So, I think I’ll end here with, yes I’m in favour of a happy ending — be it just for now, or forever. Enjoy it, embrace it, live it.



13 comments:

  1. I know in real life happy endings are few and far between and they are very hard work to keep them from going to hell in a handbasket. But when I sit down with one of my favorite writers to share a story they have written I am selfish I want a HFN or HEA because I want to lose myself in a Happy book. I have enjoyed books that have ended with the people not gettign together and going on to other people and all walks of life does this.

    Cinders

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    1. Hey Cinders... fancy meeting you here... XXX

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  2. I can't write anything BUT HEA... just because life is too damn sad at times... And i LOVE a happy ending... however unrealistic it may compared to that pesky real life thing...

    Hugs RJ X

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  3. I pretty much demand a HEA in romance.thats why I started reading it! My real life is harsh enough, I live in a violent city. I suffer from chronic illnesses, yada yada. I don't mind angst and drama though! But I do not need to read tragedy! I want a happy ending when I read for pleasure.

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  4. The HEA is the only reason I read. I will not read HFN. I want happiness. I have been happily married for 26 years but real life is rough. My dh is very ill;it is hard for my kid to find a job, yada yada yada. I read to get away from the bad. If I want anything that is not a HEA, I watch the news. :-)

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  5. Hey, JP- The stuff about men and their responses happens in the hetro world as well. Back in the day, when I was a bartender, I observed quite a lot, and the women were often just as aggressive as the men. A little more sophisticated, perhaps, but just as forward. Plenty of guys are afraid to make the first move. That probably doesn't come into play (as much) with M/M, though. Or does it? People are sure interesting, aren't they?

    Seems the HEA is what the people want. Power to the people!

    What Anonymous says rings true here. Take 'Kite Runner' for example. I read about two thirds of it, hoping, searching for some kind of light. No light to be found. I quit the damn thing.

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    1. You're right of course - women can go for the gold just as easily sometimes - hey, I was a bartender too. We should swap stories sometime!

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  6. BTW That last comment attributed to Anonymous was actually in response to Urb. Thanx, Urb for the idea.

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  7. i don't enjoy HEAs. they seem too obvious, too pat to me. i am much more satisfied with unresolved conflict or even unhappy endings. but i understand the allure of the happy ending. i haven't read Khaled Hosseini's book the Kite Runner yet, but it did quite well & its film adaptation was named one of the best films of 2007 by Roger Ebert, so i guess some folks enjoy a non HEA ;)

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  8. Re: Kite Runner Amanda-
    If you care for horror after horror with no chance of anything to bring it into the light, by all means read it. It is quite well-written. Some people thrive on that material. But to tell the truth, I didn't make it to the end. I could be talking out my hat here :>) Not unusual for me. Ignorance of a subject has never stopped me from stating an opinion. ;>)

    I do know readers who think that a happy or funny book is often too fake, too out of character for the world we live in. They think the only intellectual works are those portraying misery. It's much easier to make someone cry than to make them laugh, so I don't understand the thinking in all that.

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  9. Back in the day, I wrote an historical novel The Journeyer in which the MC dies at the end. It seemed fitting to me, he'd had a helluva exciting life, he was kind of ready to go, but one reviewer said something like - "If you're looking for a happy ending, it's not here - it's more like a punch to the gut."

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  10. i think there's room for all kinds of fiction. what i find frustrating to read about is when a writer's artistic licence is dictated by an industry, as seems to be the case with the Romance genre. i don't believe that it's easy to make readers laugh or cry. writing is tough, no matter what kind of writing. we live too much in binaries in my opinion. i believe in writing to serve the work. it also seems like even the language HEA/HFN etc is imprecise. some people see grey areas. i'm much more comfortable in the grey myself.

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  11. Urb, Cinders, RJ, Chris!

    I'm so happy to see you here, contributing to this discussion. I hear what you are saying - I've heard it from a lot of romance readers.

    JP - love the post! And I admit, I've had a few experiences with "insta-lust".

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