I'm out of pocket this week because I'm in Ohio at the Romantic Times Convention. But I didn't want to leave you dangling, so I've arranged for a whole week of great guests and features here on my blog. Today my guest is Barbara Monajem, whose debut title SUNRISE IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE AND EVIL is making quite a splash!
Take it away, Barbara!
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about endings—not that I particularly wanted to, but I’ve been writing and rewriting the ending of my September release, Tastes of Love & Evil, and it’s been a real struggle. My editor and I have been lobbing the last few scenes back and forth like unwieldy ping-pong balls. It has to be done, though. I think the ending of a story is as important as the beginning. You want to leave readers with a sense of satisfaction and completion (and of course you want them to come back for more of the same). I’m talking romance, mostly—the kind of story that has to end in a happily ever after.
As a reader, I’m usually happiest with endings that are short, even to the point of abruptness. The hero and heroine are committed to one another, the danger is past, and the future beckons. That’s it. I don’t need long-drawn out explanations and conclusions.
Even less necessary to me are epilogues, except now and then when they serve as a means of giving bad guys their comeuppance without clogging up the last few scenes. Generally, I don’t want to know what takes place after the story ends. I don’t want to be told then and there how many kids the hero and heroine have or what happens ten years later. I far prefer bits and snatches of the hero and heroine’s lives when they show up as secondary characters in other novels, because these are delightful and timely peeks into a familiar and sometimes beloved story world. As a writer, one reason I don’t want to write epilogues is because I’d be stuck with that future if I wanted to write more about those characters, and I can pretty much guarantee I’ll think up something better down the road. :)
Also (again as a reader), I don’t care particularly for anything too sweet or sentimental. I tend to feel that the sentimental stuff is so obviously implied in a love relationship that it shouldn’t have to be mentioned. The relationship’s success can be shown through other kinds of emotion and interaction—wit, mutual respect and trust, and so on. My preference for minimal sentiment doesn’t stop me from writing somewhat sappy endings, though (or so they seem to me).
Anyway, to get to the ending of this blog: What do you like to find when you reach the end of a book? Short wrap-up or epilogue? Do you want the mood to be sweet, sentimental, humorous, or sharp and tangy? Do you want to use your imagination, or do you like the author to tell you what comes next? How about the bad guys? Is defeating them enough, or do they have to be punished as well? (If they’re not already dead, that is. Killing the bad guys works well for me. Dust off hands, move on with life.)
A signed copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil will go to a more or less random commenter.
Emily here again! Thanks for guest hosting today. I wanted to share Barbara's upcoming title as well. Aren't these beautiful covers? When you leave a comment or question, you might want to leave your email as well so Barb can contact you if you're her winner. Hope you're all having a great day! I'll be sharing my RT experience when I'm home next week!
Don't miss tomorrow's post. Romance legend Connie Mason will be with us, talking about her new LORD OF DEVIL ISLE!