Happily Ever After
Life is full of unhappy endings. Marriages end in divorce. Chidren die. Bad guys escape. But when I buy a book, I'm hoping for a different kind of ending. Hey, I paid for this fictional escape. Let me close the book with a smile.
I'm all for conflict during the story. Bring it on! Make me agonize, make me weep. But when it comes to the ending, don't disappoint me. It doesn't have to end perfectly, wrapped in shiny foil and tied with a bow. But please don't kill the main character, don't break up the marriage I was rooting for, and don't make me cry (unless they're happy tears).
As an author, I realized the seriousness of the happy ending at one of my book club meetings. One lady told me she wouldn't buy a particular author anymore because of the unhappy ending of the book we read. Another lady told me she almost didn't finish MY book because she was sure it was going to end unhappily. She closed the book with only several pages left and wasn't going to open it again. This is a woman who knows me. Fortunately, a mutual friend told her it ended happily, so she finished it. Apparently I'm not the only one who wants that happy ending.