Okay, this is going to be an über short post because I am so very far behind in just about everything and I really need to get caught up. Or, die trying, as the case may be.
Anyway, a while ago, I was looking at a publishing company's website and reading their list of FAQ's. One of the questions asked something along the lines of, "My story's a romance but it has a tragic ending. Is that okay?"
The short answer was No. No, it wasn't okay because, as the site explained, it wasn't a romance then. A romance means a happy ending and that's what they wanted for their readers.
I don't have a problem with that. If they only want to publish stories with happy endings, that's their business. They can do whatever they want. I do, however, kind of take issue with the idea that if a love story doesn't end happily that it's not a love story.
And not just because I have a tendency to write love stories with unhappy endings.
Or maybe it is. I don't know. So I'm opening up the floor for discussion. What do you think? For me, romance is not synonymous with a happy ending. Look at Romeo and Juliet. Very famous love story. Very famous tragic ending. Lancelot and Guinevere. Tristan and Isolde. That whole Love Story movie. There are countless examples of love stories without a happily ever after and we still count them as love stories. Don't we?
On the flip side, there are countless number of the opposite. Insert Disney movies here. Insert any number of genre romance novels. Happy endings are good. I like happy endings. I just don't think they're what defines a romance.
But again, I ask: what do you think?