Sunday, April 4, 2010

What's with the endings that are too happy?

It's romance, I get that. Romance needs an HEA, or at least a HFN. But if you want me to read your next story, don't give me an ending that induces diabetes, because I will be too busy measuring out the insulin to get near your work.

This issue has spoiled a couple otherwise really wonderful stories, and just flat out shot down a few that were okay. It makes me really really wonder if the the writer or maybe the editor suddenly got an overdue refill of the Zoloft, you know?

I don't read het romance, got cured of that with a couple bodice rippers of the really purple covered forced seduction type, complete with TSTL heroines. Just when I thought I was being really unfair about the whole avoidance thing, I read an excerpt of a highly touted novel, written this century thank you very much, in fact, given production times, probably about 2 years ago. That made me decide that if anything, I hadn't run far enough for long enough, because, in the immediate aftermath of danger, when they should have been looking for clues, they go boink instead!!!! NONONONO they teach you in Fanfic 101 that when the Enterprise is in deadly danger, Captain Kirk does NOT grab Yeoman Rand for boinkage on the bridge or anywhere else! And if it doesn't work in fanfic it does most definitely not work if there is money involved.

The title of this stupidity eludes me, mostly because when I read it about a month ago, I decided that there was no reason to memorize it for what not to get, I wasn't getting any of it.

A tad unfair to the other writers? Maybe. Am I running 100% for things that cannot be stomached? Yeah. Do I have other ways to spend my time? OH YEAH.

Now I'm reading a lot of m/m, some friends have gotten me involved, and the things that make me mad are different. So far, I haven't seen much of the TSTL (and frankly, the stereotypes) that spoils het romance for me, but I am getting a whole boatload of other crap that is making my back teeth hurt.

So, how happy is too happy? When it's out of character. Sometimes the reaction that the whole book has built up to is "I'm happy to wake up to you tomorrow morning." Happy for now. It's a legit ending. Sometimes the story arc is shooting for, "I want to wake up to you for the foreseeable future." Also legit. It's for difficulties only partially resolved, and allows that the resolution isn't perfect or might not hold. Happily ever after -- yeah, sure, IF the major issues in the story have been resolved.

Otherwise, it's forced. Contrived. Out of the character that the author has spent so many pages lovingly constructing for us. It's almost like a personality transplant at the very last minute, and I can rant at length about those. Not today on that, you lucky readers, whoever you are.

So. The too happy ending that has me frothing at the mouth. It's in the anthology Cherry, ed M Rode. Some good stories in there. And this one was damned good, until the last 3 paragraphs. Being torn about harshing on the author and expressing my readerly dismay without harshing, I will let the story be nameless. You might like it, last three paragraphs and all. It's sort of a 'gay for you.' It wraps all the characters up neatly for forever and happy and the playmates get to keep playing periodically and EVERYONE is HAPPY.

How happy are they? The guy who wanted to get married one day is not just married, he's married long time and has 5 kids!! Not entirely impossible, I guess, given a wife early to middle childbearing years. How about when she's at least 39 when she pops the first one? We are getting into the age of decreased fertility here, sports fans. Not to mention, she's a partner in a new law firm while she's popping them out like kittens, so let's hope that she (and he) are generating enough billable hours for a nanny or two. And the other guy - he and honey-poopoo have not quite so large a family - but they are all darling and successful, too. Every loose end is wrapped, very very tightly, stranglingly tight. New word for ya. And everything that could be idyllic is idyllic three times over.

Was all this necessary? Five kids at late age, own law firm, and they probably only do pro bono work and save the whales cases, too. Too much. Please. It's happily ever after, not ecstatic to the point of needing sedation, okay? Would backing down on the happy happy have made this a better story? The characters were working on an arc that looked like happy for now, and then they did a U turn into delirious forever, without any of the work required. Don't give me a 28 year cut and tell me everything is not just peachy, it's pear-y and apple-y and probably strawberry too.

And now I'm cranky.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell us what you really think.