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The Trouble With Romance

I've been thinking. A dangerous pass-time I know. And yet, there I was. Sitting in my room, sobbing my eyes out as my new old favorite show came to an end. I wasn't necessarily crying because it was over, though that was sad. No I was crying because things didn't end as I wanted them to. As I expected them to. As I had been led to believe they would.

I write erotic romance. Happily ever after is a given. The hero and heroine (or hero and hero, sometimes even heroine and heroine) will over come all obstacles and ride off into the sunset together. That is how the equation works. But writing these happy endings over and over again leaves me bitter when other things don't follow the same rules.

True love is supposed to conquer all. That's the deal. But in this case it didn't. And it hurt. It hurt so bad. The tears wouldn't stop. For days afterward I would think about and burst into tears again. It's not fair.

If I had written that ending Michele would have kicked my ass. She would have personally shown up at my house with the printed pages in her hand and screamed "What the fuck is this?"

Ok, maybe not. I've never actually known her to drop f-bombs. But that ending might have made her. In fact, since I know that she has watched the show it very well may have. It was a supreme disappointment.

Broken heart by ~OanimeOluverO on deviantART

But I digress, this happily ever after we are conditioned to write about, that we want to read ourselves, where does it come from? Is it the ultimate fantasy? Is the true love conquers all theme what makes our work fiction? The ultimate fiction? Maybe love is not really enough.

I mean, if aliens came down to Earth tomorrow and started killing humans, forcing those of us fortunate to escape underground, would the sole power of my love for Mr. Rebel give me the strength to strap guns to my hips and fight an intergalactic army?

If I were a princess who fell in love with a stable boy, would our love alone hold the power to make kingdoms fall and father's accept our relationship? Would we be able to hold the throne and our people simply because we loved each other?

Is this blog going to get me blacklisted from the erotic romance genre on general purpose? What if I tell you I love you? Would that make you change your mind?

Dakota Rebel


Ashley Ladd said...

Great post! I won't black list you.

I like to watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Anyone who's ever watched it knows there's a happily ever after - for only two of the people. The rest go home brokenhearted or at least disappointed, sad, confused.

I watch it for the happily ever after, but it also reminds us that in real life, not everybody gets their happily ever the first time. It sucks, but it's real life.

Isn't it great that we can read any story here and get our happily ever after fix?

marie haynes said...

Nope - not throwing you out yet! I like reading and writing romance partially BECAUSE I know there will be a happy ending. It's an escape. Real life is ugly, mean, heart-breakingly sad. The good sometimes die. The bad sometimes get away with it. The beautiful are sometimes alone. We sometimes lose the one we treasure the most.
Still, it's good to know that somewhere - even if only in the land of "happily ever after" - love will win the day.

LynTaylor said...

Couldn't have said it better myself, Marie. As for throwing you out D? Nah. Couldn't do it ;)

Lisabet Sarai said...

I'm really glad you wrote this, Dakota. Because for me, possibly the most romantic stories are those that don't end happily, and I had wanted to blog about this myself. Romeo and Juliet (okay, that's an extreme). Buffy and Angel. Buffy and Spike. Tristan and Isolde. What about "Terms of Endearment"? "Ghost"? "The English Patient"?

Doomed romance can wring the emotions to a far greater degree than HEA. And the trouble with HEA is that it makes romance so predictable. It's really difficult to write a romance that has any suspense, because you KNOW the hero and the heroine are going to finally overcome all odds and get together. I enjoy a happy ending as much as the next person, but the requirement that romance has to have a happy ending actually makes writing in the genre harder (for me, at least).