When we were asked to blog about “hope” this month, I decided to approach the subject in a logical manner. And why not? Hope is almost tangible. It lifts moods, soothes fears, and compels us to do things we might not otherwise do.
That observation led me to the question: Who are the most hopeful people in the world?
My hypothesis: Romance authors are.
To prove this theory, I needed to gather the materials required for the experiment: A sampling of romance novels in all genres, all lengths, and all release dates, going back two hundred years to the Mother of the Romance Novel, Jane Austen.
Next, I needed to check the stories for common elements, assuring that they were consistent across the genre. I found these:
· At least one pair of main characters, who
· are faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, and
· overcome those odds together,
· so their shared triumph assures a happier future.
Then, to expand my research, I asked readers why they would chose to read a romance novel. The answers included:
- A guaranteed “happily ever after.”
- Dashing heroes mixed with exciting adventure and epic love stories.
- Everyone finds their “missing piece.”
- They remind me that true love does exist.
- The journey to get to the happy ending is usually a fun journey.
- To escape the hectic, and enter into another world you know has a happy ending.
- To experience the joy and heartache, tragedies and triumphs, all within the safety net of a guaranteed “happily ever after.”
- It's magical. It makes me feel good.
- To experience the rush, the thrill, and the excitement of falling in love for the first time... over and over and over again.
- The good guys always win.
- The compelling idea that someone would give/do everything for you.
As I analyzed these components, I saw that the response is 100% supportive of the belief that, in romance stories: Things Can Turn Out Well.
The conclusion I must come to is that because Romance Novels always turn out well (that particular guarantee actually defines the genre), the next logical step must be that the authors of these stories also believe in the possible “Happily Ever After.” They create situations which appear hopeless – but are not. Ever. No matter how bad they seem.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, requires hope. I rest my case.