Monday, November 28, 2016

Don’t Call it a ROMANCE if it Ends TRAGICALLY

I love to read romance. If the author (or publisher) puts ROMANCE on the book, I expect a happy ending. That’s just the way it is for romance. The same is said for romance movies, too.

So when a writer friend mentioned she watched “Titanic” for the first time and how she didn’t like it and it’s the reason she doesn’t watch romance movies, I had to tell her that “Titanic” is NOT a romance. It’s a tragic love story.

She disagreed with me. Said it was a tragic romance like “Romeo and Juliet.”

Yeah, well, “Romeo and Juliet” is not a romance, either. It’s a tragedy. But I knew I wasn’t going to change her mind, so I stopped arguing.

Let me tell you, though. If I read a book labeled ROMANCE and one or both of the couple dies at the end, I would do the same thing Bradley Cooper’s character did in “Silver Linings Playbook.” [Note: scene contains swearing]

FYI: I love that scene. Granted, the book he was reading was not labeled a romance.

But I truly believe if you slap a ROMANCE genre on your book and it ends tragically… you’ll be lucky if you ever get those readers back. I’m not saying you can’t write those kinds of stories. Just don’t label them a romance. Romance readers expect happy-ever-afters (HEAs) or happy-for-nows (HFNs). It’s just the way that genre is. And I’m glad. I want to know going in that I won’t end up depressed at the end. I can get that with other genres.

Like love stories.

Weekend Sports Update:

  • College Football: OH. MY. GOD. Did you watch the OSU Buckeyes play that team up north? Double Overtime! I don’t remember watching a more stressful game. When Urban Meyer collapsed to the ground after the last play, I sympathized. I could have collapsed too. Except I was too happy dancing! USC Trojans and West Virginia also won in less stressful games. Lucky them.
  • Hockey: Penguins also won in a shoot out on Saturday (after getting clobbered the day before). Hot and cold. Hot and cold. I have a feeling this season will be suspenseful. Maybe I should wear gloves. I might not have any fingernails left!
  • NFL: Steelers beat the Colts on Thanksgiving in a much-needed win. Bengals couldn’t manage to beat the only team we really wanted them to beat. And the poor Rams… What can I say? I’m still a fan.

Today I’m at my fitness center again (Ladies Premier Fitness), hoping to gain some readers. Doubt I sell any books, but figured it can’t hurt to sit there and hope to get noticed. It’s not costing me anything except time. Who knows? Maybe someone will buy a book. Or become a fan.

So… Do you like to argue for argue’s sake? Or will you stop when you find it pointless to continue? I used to be the former, but now I’m more the latter. My family, however, are the former. Argue, argue, argue!

Happy Monday!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I tend to avoid arguments.
I'll admit I enjoy romantic comedy movies and if they didn't end happy, I wouldn't call them romances either.
Was that OSU game not tense??? Holy crap!

JeffO said...

Back in the day, we had a friend of ours we used to call "The P.I.D." It stood for "Phil (his name) I disagree" because he would argue ANY thing. Not rancorously, not emotionally, but just for the pleasure of taking a position and forcing someone to defend their's. He could be quite tiring sometimes!

I don't read romance, but I have no problem with unhappily ever afters, unexpected deaths, etc.--so long as it's "right," if you know what I mean. When it's done right, it's a shock to the system, but it's not an "I'll never read that author again" moment, because it's right, and you know it.

Maria Zannini said...

That's a pet peeve of mine. In romance, I expect at least a 'happy for now' ending.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

There's a big difference between "love story" and "romance." Not a fan of the former.

That OSU game was crazy! I couldn't believe how they pulled that off after the way they played the first three quarters. But we'll take it!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Alex - I've never felt so sick during a football game before. I was sure OSU was going to blow it!

Jeff - I don't have a problem with unhappy endings, as long as it's not labeled a romance. Actually, I probably DO have a problem with unhappy endings, but at least happy endings are not a given in other genres, so I know to expect the worst.

Maria - I've only read one romance where it ended tragically. Luckily for the author, I gave her next book a chance (because I really loved her writing) and she redeemed herself. Still didn't make me happy over that first one. Grrr...

Jennette - I used to read love stories (like the original Love Story), but got tired of being depressed at the end, so I stopped reading them.