Friday, January 8, 2016

HEAs and HFNs in #Romance #IARTG

If you’re t a romance writer you’re probably not familiar with the acronym HEA, It stands for happily ever after. There’s a another one that’s gained prominence since the rise in popularity of continued series. HFN or happily for now.

Many have criticized the romance genre for being formulaic and they can be. I remember one historical author years ago who wrote some of the first books in which the heroine became intimate with more than one ‘hero’. Her plots were structure so similarly that you could literally do a find and replac e for the names and setting and have nearly the same book.  Still they were popular, because of the HEA.

These days because ofgroups like RWA and strong online support and education , most serious writers in the genre have studied the craft of writing – plotting, characterization, dialogue, Goal Motivation and Conflict… the same elements and standards as other genres. But the one thing that sets them apart is HEA and HFN. Romance is dependent upon either a happy ending or a satisfactory ending with hanging threads, usually in the fantasy sub-genres. There is always a knowledge, not a wonder, that things will eventually turn out okay for the heroine and hero.

In Storm Crazy, book one of my Destiny Paramortals series based on Storm Lake,  things get pretty dicey at the end with a cliffhanger thread but the reader doesn’t have to worry that I’ll kill offo the hero or heroine. I’m not George R.R. Martin and this isn’t mainstream fantasy or literary fiction. It’s romance.

What they get to enjoy though is a series of books where the characters’ arcs and the paranormal aspects of Destiny grow and new characters enter the picture.  I just released the Storm Lake box set 1(Destiny books 1-3) with book 4 completing one of the story arcs in June. No worries, the main characters will live, but doesn’t anything in life remain exactly the same???? We’ll see.

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