Sunday, July 29, 2012

Real Life versus Happily Ever After

I'm going to admit this right now: I like reading books with happily ever after (referred to here as a HEA). When I come home from a day of dealing with a job that shows too often a real life where such things are almost non-existent, sometimes all I want to do is push all that aside and for just a little while escape into a book that brings back a little faith in the world, and nothing like seeing people overcome the bad shit and find whatever it is the main characters are looking for to do just that.

So why am I admitting that I am a HEA addict?  I read a lot of the reviews on Goodreads, and one thing that bugs me are the complaints from people about books being unrealistic because the story hasn't given the characters enough time to find their soul-mate, or fix their issue. To those people, I say: I'm sorry. I didn't realize there was a time line for such a thing, but please, can you let me know what it is so I don't draw your ire with my own stories; or possibly miss my chance at finding a real life HEA by not following these "rules" that apparently exist?

I know several couples who have been married for like 20 years or more who admit they fell in love the minute they met their significant other. I know others who say it only took a few weeks or months. Granted, some say it took much longer than that...but the point is, everyone's "timing", whether in real life or in fiction, is different.  So when I read a book where a heroine falls head over heels for the hero during their first meeting I can get by that without issue. (Though I do concede that in fiction, it's more fun when one, the other or both, try to fight that, or fight the attraction, because it adds to the conflict!)  I can also get by a couple deciding to get married only weeks or months or so after they meet, fall in love, defeat the bad guy (usually a serial killer, stalker, or some other deranged mad man or woman), and clear up any and all misunderstandings. Maybe it's not realistic, and it doesn't reflect real life, but seriously--if that is your complaint, don't read chick lit, or romantic suspense, or paranormal romance, or paranormal suspense or contemporary, or any genre where there is a more than 50% chance of a HEA occurring for that matter, and then complain when there is a HEA that happens in a time line that is your version of "quick".  Dislike it because the characters aren't fully developed, or the conflict isn't fleshed out enough, the plot has gaping holes in it, or because you don't like the writer's style or word choices, or any other number of valid points that can be made about a book.  But to complain that the story doesn't fit a timeline!? Seriously, it just boggles the mind.  

Maybe people forget it's fiction. Or, maybe these reviewers aren't writers and don't get just how hard it is to write a book and therefore think all books should be closer to a 1 million word tome about characters who follow these rules/stages of a relationship that are a reflection of "real life".  For the record, if someone does write that, I won't be reading it.  If someone wants to complain about a book because a couple finds love with each other in a week, well then sit that ass at a computer and write that million word tome hot shot. Let me know when your're done.  I don't read books, or even watch movies, to see a reflection of the real life I know can suck.

So from this point on, I am going to ignore those comments about books I want to read not fitting into "a timeline that is realistic". I am going to revel in my HEA addiction and use that energy I'd spend getting pissed at people who bash authors for this reason alone to rant about something else, like when I see eBooks selling for 12.99. Seriously, it is still pissing me off. (Rant About eBook Prices Here) 

So what do y'all think? Am I justified at getting annoyed at someone whose only complaint is the timeline/HEA doesn't fit real life? I mean, I get everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don't know, I guess I'm just looking for something more substantial in a review. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

And now that my rant is over, here is my ROW80 update:

Writing:  5 out of 5. And yesterday I wrote 5k words! 5K!!!! Yippeeeee!

Being Active:  I need to change this to more like, getting off my lazy ass or something else more motivating. I tried to fit in a few things this past week but it was a half-hearted attempt. Will work on this for next week.

Charli's Story:  All is on track here for my deadline. I've been tightening up the plot and adding scenes.I can see the end and I gotta say I am so super freakin excited! Woohoo!!!!

Emma's Story:  Waiting to finish above though I've made a few notes on this and I've introduced Jake a bit more in the first book.  I love love love how this is all turning out!

Social Media:  Check...we're all good here. :)

I am also adding a goal. I'd forgotten it on Wednesday's post:
Read one book a week.  Done!

Hope everyone is smashing through their goals and good luck this week!


  1. Great job meeting your writing goals this week. Have fun finishing that story!

  2. I too like a HEA but I can be a bit cynical if things are too....easy! But it would be more of a passing thought rather than something I would bother writing into a review. I am like you. I want to read about HEA's and this is something I have given alot of thought to in my upcoming CampNaNo project. With your word count you should join us....hint hint!

    Have a great week!

  3. BAH, I say. I get both sides I suppose. First is that I really like a book where getting the love interests together has some obstacles. But at the same time, I freak out over everything you said. ESPECIALLY in young adult. It's always a criticizing point in YA that the characters fell in love too quickly, too easily, too unrealistically, too deeply. MY GOD, does anyone remember being a teenager?? I admit, there are time when I'm like "wow that could have been a little bit more difficult," but I'm not going to hate on a book because of that. These are some of the reasons I hate consumer reviews lol. Ok, end rant for me too. ANYWAY, 5,000 words!!! Holy cow, girl!! Great work on your goals :) I read your reply about Nook - which one do you have? I'll try to figure out how it's done on your device. I have the color, so I know on that one, but I guess it's different on the different ones. Hooray again for all your words and progress! Have a good week :D

  4. All the romances I write have HEA's. The horror book I wrote even had an HEA for the main characters, although I had to kill off a few others. LOL. But, yes, romances HAVE to have an HEA. That's a rule. :) And there have been several times I got criticized because my characters have fallen in love too fast. But that happens in real life sometimes, like you said. Most of the time, there's a conflict, but they are GOING to fall in love. My advice? Stop reading reviews. I've actually bought books with bad reviews just to see if they were really that bad. And they weren't! It ticks me off that some reviewers just revel in being nasty, and it can cause readers to have second thoughts about a book they thought sounded good. I rarely read reviews on my own books anymore. It's counter productive.

    As for your goals, you've done a GREAT job this past week. I'm sure that will continue through this week as well. :)

  5. Fantastic job on your goals, Cat! WHOO-HOO!

    I cannot imagine hating on a book because the characters fall in love too quickly. I agree with Lauren, does anyone remember being a teenager? And the YA heroine is supposed to take a year--pullleeze!

    I think Lauralynn has a great point. I don't plan to read any reviews of my work done by someone who couldn't write a full sentence. No thank you! Critiques, betas, thoughtful book bloggers, sure!

    I hope you have a wonderful week-- thank goodness it is slightly cooler here in upstate New York!

  6. Congrats on the progress! And ignore the critics!


  7. Thanks everyone for your comments regarding HEA(s) and for your support! I echo much of what y'all are saying. Reading the reviews seems silly, but sometimes I like to get an idea of what I'm spending my money on and I get sucked in, and then annoyed! LOL! So from now on I will be ignoring the reviews cause yeah, it just gets my blood pressure up!! :)