01 December 2010

The importance of happy endings

Photo by graur razvan ionut
at freedigitalphotos.net
Happy ending is one of the ingredients that define a romance novel. Although the story doesn't have to end with the wedding bells, a satisfactory ending incorporates at least an assumption that Heroine and Hero will live happily ever after. You need to give them a good chance to stay together for the forseeable future. This is what your reader expects from your novel.

Kate Walker says (in her fabulous 12 Points Guide to Writing Romance) that
- your first page sells the book you're writing now, but
- the ending will sell your next one.

Enough to say why a satisfactory, believable, resulting naturally from your characters happy ending is vital to a romance novel.

I have a bit of a problem with endings, so I've been worrying that my characters will never make it to the end.
I can't believe I did it!
Not only I won NaNoWriMo (that is wrote 50,000 words) but also finished my novel.

I struggled through week 2 and 3 to the point there were days, when I spent 4- 5 hours in front of the computer and wrote only 500-800 words. That's pathetic, but at least I was moving on.
I have generally very low writing output - maximally 500 words/hour, which is much less than other people can.
But I wanted to get the Nano laurels, so uploaded the novel as soon as I reached 50,000 words, although I was still a few scenes away from the end.

What was really important for me was to finish the novel. It's my very first finished novel (my other novel has been work in progress for the last 5 or 6 years!).
I got my hero and heroine to their Happily-Ever-After yesterday morning. It's my very first happy ending.

Now I need to fix the plotholes, eyes changing colours, people changing names and the like - a.k.a. known as editing and revising process. I also need to write a synopsis.

I want to submit 1 chapter plus synopsis to The Final Challenge of SoYouThinkYouCanWrite at eHarlequin and the deadline is 15/12/10.
I also want to enter The Clendon Award 2011, which is a competition for members of Romance Writers of New Zealand.

Still a lot of work to do. But what a happy ending!

Congratulations to all NaNo Winners!


  1. Well done Mema, and good luck with the competitions!

  2. thanks, Sandra
    Your nanowisdom kept me entertained