Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Enchanted, Swept Away, and HEA

Yesterday I took a little writing break and watched the movie "Enchanted" on TV. Call me a sap but I loooove Disney movies and though my kids are grown and "almost" grown, I still have the lovestruck works of wonder and fantasy and happily ever after's tucked away on my movie shelf. Sometimes my daughter and I will declare it to be Disney Day and we'll OD on Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and others. The kind of movies that make you go....ahhhhhh. Admittedly, I tear up at them but in a good way. I sigh. I smile.Why, you ask??? Because I love, love love a happy ending. So today I watched Enchanted for the second time and realized I have a serious love affair with happy ever afters.
Probably always will, so shoot me with cupid's arrow and hang my carcass in a floral bower because that is my fate, my destiny.
I read other things besides romance. Sometimes. Not often. And I know some might shake their heads that I seek some "culture" but I don't like to waste my time with stuff that doesn't make me HAPPY. That's the bottom line for me in books and, yes, movies. Anyone like Braveheart? Kickass movie. Mel is hot and you've gotta love the sight of all those brawny Scots warriors in face paint and kilts but I always have to quit watching at least twenty minutes before the end. I would prefer to rewrite my own ending in my head. Silly, I know, but that's just the way I think.
Remember a wonderful romance author who I loved. I say LOVED. Past tense. I grabbed every new release but then made the mistake of buying one of her titles and I'll be damned if she didn't kill off the heroine in the end. I was so pissed, I threw the book across the room and swore I'd never buy her work again. That was about ten years ago and I was true to my word. I never read her again.
Now to my question. Are you like me and crave a happy ever after or you okay with a happy for now? I know lots of romance publishers are okay with publishing both. As a reader and as a writer, what is your preference?
As for me, give me violins and singing doves. I want my happily ever after.


Kelley Nyrae said...

I love a Happily Ever After. I will always have them in my book. Its a must for me.

A couple years ago The Little Mermaid was re-released and I watched it for the first time in years. LOVE IT! One of my two fav Disney movies. At the end I told my hubby, "Price Eric loved her so much. He didn't even care that she was a mermaid" Needless to say we thought I was crazy. Can't help it. Beauty and the Beast is my other fav.

Destiny Blaine said...

Good morning, Regina.

I’m 'okay' with a HFN ending if the book is in a trilogy or series and if I know (or strongly believe based on their past work) the author will deliver the HEA at the end. I love to write the HFN endings into my romantic suspense novellas but I know that the market prefers the HEA.

Like you, I want the signing choir at the end and apparently, we’re not alone!

Great topic!

Destiny Blaine

Tonya said...

First....Braveheart is an amazing movie! Loved it!

I like HEA. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy when I finish. HFN is ok, but that's it....I like the warm and fuzzies better!!

Regina Carlysle said...

A series can continue, in a vague sort of way, the love affair from a prior book. That's a good thing. I still prefer everything "sewed up" for the h/h.

Amy Ruttan said...

OOoh I get ticked at no HEA's

There are a lot of movies I can't watch because there is no HEA.

I'm the same.

Barb said...

Happily Ever After for me. But isn't that what we're all hoping for in our own lives or are we willing to settle for the happy right now? No not me.

Aren't Disney movies wonderful. I just watched Enchanted for the first time a couple weeks ago and loved it. And Beauty and the Beast is my fave animated Disney movie. Thanks for the topic Regina.

Anne Rainey said...

Yep, I'm a total sap. I NEED my happy ending. I can't stand to read a book that ends sad. Movies are different for me. I like a mix. Sometimes I like a romance, sometimes I like a suspense or horror movie.

But, I like KNOWING what I'm getting. I don't want to think I'm reading a romance, only to have it end sad. That pisses me off. It's like a dirty trick or something. Not funny.

Hollie Brooks said...

Truthfully, it depends. I want a satisfying ending. It doesn't have to be HEA, but I do need to feel satisfied. When reading romance, I like to know that there is in all probability the good chance that the hero and heroine will have that HEA. But I also love dark books and movies. Huge fan of Dexter. However, even with Dexter, I want him to have is HEA, even though he's a bad protagonist in the sense that he's a serial killer. I think the key is making the viewer/reader invested in the main character.

Anne Rainey said...

I totally agree. I can be content as long as the author doesn't kill off the main character. If there's a sense that the h/h are walking away having learned something, or grown in some way throughout the book, then I'm happy.

I didn't know there were "Dexter" books. I used to watch the series for awhile. He's so much fun in an evil sort of way. You can't help but be drawn to him.

Judith Leger said...

Oh, yes, Regina! I am definitely a HEA type girl. I love the hero and heroine to ride off into the sunset, their future bright before them.

I, too, still watch Disney movies because of the HEA. But I also watch a lot of Anime movies and series. Some of them don't have the HEA and I don't watch them ever again. But the ones that do have it, I keep the DVD's and watch them over and over. I'm also a gamer, my favorite being the Final Fantasy series.

I played all the way through FFX and was very disappointed with the ending. I wanted the two sweethearts to stay together but it wasn't meant to be. Yet the creators of the game had a segment at the very end leading the players to believe that the hero would return. They then made another one named FFX-2 to continue the story. Now that was a FANTASTIC ending! The girl does get the boy. I still smile about that ending cut scene. I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

Since I love watching shows and reading books with HEA, it's only natural that I want to write about them too.

BTW, I have watched Braveheart all the way through once. Never again. I make up to the part just before his wife dies. Can't go any farther. Breaks my heart!

Thanks so much for posting! Great blog!

Tess said...

Hi Regina,

I find myself drawn to an ending that I think is more powerful- those endings that leave the characters hanging make me think.

While I do read strict romance and enjoy the happy endings, the books that stick out in my mind are the ones that didn't end the way I think they should. The books where the heroine walks away or the hero just isn't what she thought he was.

Braveheart is one of my all time favorite movies. The final scene absolutely slays me every time, but still I watch. It's a different kind of satisfied feeling for me.

Writing a storyline that brings the main characters all the happiness everyone thinks they deserve is a lot easier than writing a story that doesn't. I've written story lines both ways and believe me, the itch to make it all happy and tied up into a bow is there, but still, I need to see something more powerful and realistic at times. Not that finding your one true love isn't powerful, but is it always realistic? And does it always satisfy?

And do we really stretch our wings as a writer when we don't consider all the possibilities? I realize that the ultimate happy ending is what the buying public is after, but if you think about it, some of the biggest best sellers in history didn't have that HEA.

Love Story, Gone with the Wind, Valley of the Dolls. Movies: Braveheart, A Star is Born, Cassablanca, Million Dollar Babe.
Just to name a very few.

Just my two cents and in this economy, I probably owe you money. lol

Great post, Regina!

Susan Macatee said...

For me, in a romance at least, the hero and heroine have to be together at the end with that HEA ending. This was one of the problems I had with Cold Mountain. It wasn't a romance, but had a romance in it and the author killed off the hero at the end. Big letdown!

I do read other genres where there isn't always a happy ending, but at least there's the hope that things will be better. I don't want to put down a book feeling depressed. My own life provides enough of that. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE to have a HEA. Otherwise, what's the point? I read to escape life. Life can suck sometimes. While dealing with my very ill parents through the month of August, my books kept me going with another world to escape to. Otherwise I would have run into the dark, naked, alone, and screaming. Not a pretty sight. Yep. HEA for me. And a good thing for the rest of the world.

Molly Daniels said...

Your Release Day Limerick is up on my blog...please be kind??

When I first saw Braveheart, I was upset with the ending, until the person I saw it with informed me of the historical aspect! So now, I also only watch certain parts of it:)

And yeah...the teens do the eye-roll whenever I buy the Disney DVD's, but I've noticed they don't leave the room if W and I are watching one:)

Regina Carlysle said...

I read to make myself feel and also feel GOOD. Life is tough and books, to me, are a huge escape. When I'm writing a book, I want the reader to sigh, to maybe 'tear up' a little. Have you ever read a book that was so touching at the end you just HAD to read it again? Immediately? I can't tell you how many times I've done that.

Renee DeMarcus said...

Hi Regina!

I'm a sucker for a happy ending, definitely. I too loved Braveheart--and felt ripped off when the wife died.

Judith Rochelle said...

OMG! I am the opriginal HEA addict. I, too, was totally disillusioned by an author who afer finally getting her heo and ehroine back together, killed off the hero. The backlash was so bad she actually had to post a letter on her web site as to why she did it. When I read a book, or watch a movie, I want to feel really, really good at the end, and the lack of HEA doesn't make me feel good. People make fun iof diana Palmer (who by the way has sold millions of books) but I can always count on the ending. To me the ultimate HEA is in Lisa Kleypas' new book, Blue eyed devil, who I think every romanced writer should read. So I guess my carcass will be hanging in the bower with yours, Regina! LOL!

Connie Northrop said...

HEA are really a must. I hate books and movies where the lead guy or girl dies and I rarely read or watch them.

Yep, I've dumped authors who've killed off HEAs.

HFN only works if it's a series and I'm not big on cliff hangers. I want most people in a happy place when that specif book ends.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh, Judith, I've read some stories where that happened and I just won't read that author anymore.

Yep. Come on, honey, you can keep me company in the bower. LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

The problem with cliffhangers is sometimes it's just SOOOO long between releases. I know lots of women who wait until the entire series is out before they buy.

Daun Ann said...

My number one fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast and I PREFER Happily Ever After's, but sometimes the way the book reads, a happy for now works.

I read one book once and it just ended (I can't recall what it was), no hef or hfn. I HATE THOSE, it has to be closed somehow. I've read another where it ended with a hfn, but should have been a hea.

Toni V.S. said...

HEA is great but I have the annoying little habit of thinking, after I've typed "The End"--so what happened next? Did they live happily ever after, did the villain reappear, or the curse come back to life, or what? And so there's another book. Once I killed off both the hero and heroine (in Book 3) but left their children to carry on for another book. Another had a secondary (but important character) die in Book 3 and yet another series was as bad as the ending of Hamlet! All in all, I DO prefer a happy ending (permanently) and most of my stories turn out that way (the above excepting)>