I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I hate when I get to the last page of a book and wonder 'what the hell happens next?' Ambiguity makes me crazy!!! I'm a straight-forward kind of gal. Tell me what happens! Don't make me guess.
That's why when I wrote my first book, I added an epilogue. I let the reader know that I was seriously committed to those two characters living happily ever after. Some people don't need that. Some people like to use their imaginations and create their own endings. Not my style. I want to close a book and feel sincerely happy, or utterly devastated. One extreme or the other.
As I wrote the last pages of my second novel, I wondered what would constitute a happy ending for these characters? 'Happily ever after' means different things to different people. When you delve into the romance genre, 'happily ever after' tends to mean the girl gets the guy, or vice versa.
But what if there are two important men in her life?
Does she make it work with the man she's in a complex relationship with, but still loves flaws and all? That would be one version of a happy ending. Probably the most difficult but realistic, and I do love realism.
Or does she leave the complicated relationship and go off into the sunset with the other man, someone she also cares about deeply? Another viable happy ending, with its own set of complications (what relationship is complication free?).
What if she ditches them both and concentrates on her own career and needs? To hell with the men in her life! I have to say, the feminist in me is screaming for that version of a happy ending.
I struggled with the 'happily ever after' in this book. So many choices. I knew the ending of What if I Fly? before I completed the first chapter. This one? I was completely in the dark until I reached the end, forcing myself to make a choice for the character I had created. I'm glad that's over! And I am very satisfied with the outcome.
Will everyone be satisfied by the choice I made? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on what 'happily ever after' means to you.
My second novel, tentatively titled 'As it Seems' will be available...sometime in the next two months...