Thursday, November 23, 2006

Being Thankful For The Perfect Happy-Ever-After Ending

With each book I finish I find myself trying to make the last chapter just as exciting and emotional as the rest of the book. As many authors, I want the reader to enjoy the last pages, instead of skipping over paragraphs to see the last sentence. I feel the final chapter should tie up all the loose strings of the plot(s) and place a pretty bow on top of the hero and heroine’s relationship.

And a couple times I felt a need to write epilogues. You know, when you completed the last regular chapter, and the couple had sworn their undying devotion to each other immediately after killing or locking up the villain. When I wrap up the story with a quick BANG at the end, I feel a need to show the happy couple some days or months later.

The reason I’m blogging about this is that I read several books lately that struggled with their endings. I caught myself skipping the final love scenes -- seen that, been there -- or the long drawn out "I love you" "No, I love you more" scenes. Or they decide to rehash the last few chapters in the final scene of the last chapter. Borinnng! I was paying attention, folks!

So tell me about the endings that you loved or detest. And to keep in with the holiday, let me know what authors, published and unpublished, you’re thankful for their help, encouragement and just plain ole being there for you.

Myself...I’m thankful for Kelley St. John for helping me in so many ways that I cannot even begin to recite, Debbie Matthews for hanging in there and reading some of my worse WIPs, for Elena Pedri who listened to my rants and still likes me, for Christy Reece who gives me some of the best suggestions for my WIPs and the best VP a chapter president could have, for Susan Gail and Larry Keyser who works so hard for Southern Magic and a joy to be around, for every member of Southern Magic that volunteers to help at each of our functions -- couldn’t do it without you -- and for the published authors that support Southern Magic by participating in the Romance Readers Luncheon every year. I’m so thankful to know YOU.


JoAnn said...

What a great post, Carla. Very eloquent. :-)

I, too, love a really great happy ending. The late Fay Robinson's A Man Like Mac did it for me. I wept buckets! And I'm a pretty hard-hearted reader of romance.

Authors I'm thankful for: Every single one who writes a great book. Those are the ones who inspire me to keep writing, in spite of the odds.

Carolynn Carey said...

I want endings that tie up all the loose ends and leave me feeling good about the way the future worked out (or promises to work out) for the characters.

When I think of authors I'm thankful for, I always think of the late Carol Quinto. She was the first published author to offer me encouragement (back in the days when judges wrote comments on Golden Heart entries). I met her only once, at National in New Orleans in 1991, but we corresponded often. I still miss her. After Carol came scores of writers who have given of their time and talents to critique and encourage me. All in all, romance writers are fabulous people.

Carolynn Carey

Deborah Matthews said...

I like upbeat endings. Nothing like Clarissa.

As far as authors I'm thankful for, there are so many I know I'll forget someone. For Amanda Quick whose stories brought back a desire to write. For Beverly Barton who introduced me to a group called Romance Writers of America and gave me the inkling that it might be possible. For Connie Newman who was there as friend and critique partner before the first sale and has been through the dry spell. For Carla Swafford who never seems to mind to read my drek. For Gayle Wilson, Linda Howard, Linda Jones, Lyn Stone, and the other published authors of Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic chapters who give so much of their time and expertise.

Christy said...

Gotta have that happy ending and feel quite cheated when I don't get it. I love to see the h/h in their ordinary world, once things have calmed down, the bad guy is in prison, everyone is healthy and the lost dog has been found and returned to his owner. I like full resolution, can you tell?

On gratitude. Oh my, I am so grateful to every author whose book I read and then closed with a sigh of contentment.

Locally, I'm grateful to every Southern Magic member who make our chapter so wonderful. I'm especially grateful for the great friendships I've developed in the last year. And also, a special gratitude to Carla for being such an amazing president, critique partner and friend.