Bad endings in books can leave you feeling cheated and cross.
I can just about cope with weak endings in other book genres, however if I am given a romance novel with an unwanted ending I will struggle….emotionally….for days after it’s finished.
When I read a romance novel I want:
- Chemistry between the two characters.
- A bit of romantic conflict.
- A happy ever after ending.
- Epilogue explaining how the couple are doing a year down the line.
In my view the following are unwanted endings:
- The loved up characters decide to take things slowly and….see how things go. I read a book a few weeks ago by a well-known romance author, where her main character wrote the reader (me) a letter at the end to let them know things might develop in the future between her and her love interest, but for the time being they were going see how things go. This was not satisfactory. You can’t bring a romance reader’s emotions to the boil after 400 pages and then leave them with this weak ending!
- One of the characters dies in the final chapter. As a romance reader I want to finish the book and then spend weeks daydreaming about what the love birds are up to now that they have found love. I can’t do this if one of them is no longer alive.
- One of the characters decides to leave the other in the final chapter as….it was never going to work between them. This sort of ending deals a bitter blow to the romance reader who has spent day and night imagining the love birds getting married.
- The characters don’t get to kiss or….get to have a heated game of travel scrabble upstairs (wink wink nudge nudge). I don’t want graphic details about how the game of travel scrabble was won. Just a page or two on the main highlights and some thought-provoking analogies will sort me out. *Sigh*
Life after reading a romance novel with an unwanted ending can be tough.
Here’s how to survive this emotional time:
- Accept that you are going to be feeling frustrated and disgruntled for a few days. You’ve been let down and you have a lot of built up reader tension inside of you which needs to come out.
- Read book reviews to see whether other readers are going through the same turmoil. I always feel better about bad endings if I know other readers are suffering too.
- Write a book review. Before you start to type (and weep) out your book review remember that the author must have done a good job with building up the romance if you are feeling this let down. Ok, so the ending did not live up to expectations but you do have to give the author some credit.
- Rewrite the ending yourself! I have done this on several occasions and its been really therapeutic. I got to write the ending I wanted and I got to cover the heated game of travel scrabble. *Sigh*
- Talk about your feelings to a loved one or close friend. I chose to confide in my creative friends when a well-known romance author let me down. It helped me to get some stuff off my chest and talk about how I would have liked it to end.
- Email the author. I have considered doing this. At the London Book Fair 2017, which I attended last week, all the author speakers claimed they loved hearing from readers. I am sure they’d love a ‘Not Happy With The Ending Of Your Romance Novel’ email from ‘Sleepless In [enter name of your city]’.
- Accept that this part of your life is now over. Its time to put it behind you and move on. This is a tough one.
- Eat chocolate! Works for a wide range of emotional and literary issues.
How do you feel about the endings of romance novels?
Could you cope with an unwanted ending?
Have a great day folks