With romantic comedy, a happy ending is de rigueur. This means, dear writer, that it’s expected. Romcom is, after all, escapist fiction, a beach read. The reader is looking to experience the swing and elation of falling in love, right along with your heroine. Yes, this includes happily ever after.
If you prefer sad (or “realistic”), don’t write romcom. Write a thriller, or chick lit, or sci fi, or a mystery (but not a Cozy). And maybe not fantasy either. Readers have expectations. Choose your genre wisely.
Secondary characters? They can be as miserable as you like! Go ahead and break their hearts. Or leave them hanging, with squared shoulders and brimming eyes, bravely facing an uncertain tomorrow.
But happy at last doesn’t mean predictable. Twists, turns, thrills, spills—a circuitous route to felicity can pack an emotional punch and leave your readers cheering with delight.
Know, too, that crafting a satisfying ending is anything but easy. I learned this when I ended my three-book series. You can’t be a lazy thinker, and you can’t give in to the temptation to simply finish. Your readers should be left smiling and (of course) eager to buy your next book.
Pharrell Williams has perfectly captured the feeling you want. His song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 is simple but toe-tappingly infectious, and will serve as today’s excerpt. Because I really can’t post something from the ending, right?