If they do — how, when and where?
On the page?
On the last page?
Of course, the purist’s answer is: whatever is right for the characters. But, just as organising a real-life wedding needs to take account of friends and family, the end of a story — perhaps more than any other part of the book — is there to satisfy Readers. To provide emotional closure.
Do Readers want, need a wedding to achieve that? Even if the characters don’t?
Think of the small sister who just yearns to be your bridesmaid. Disappointing her would really hurt. It’s the same deal.
In last week’s blog on Wallows, Joanna said that readers want to enjoy the Happy Ever After ending right there on the page. So that’s one answer to the Wedding Dilemma.
A wedding scene offers so many opportunities: those heroic promises — in sickness and health, all my worldly goods, until death; the couple taking hands in front of the world, to stand or fall together; a stolen moment of intimacy among the festivities.
Yes, I can see the satisfaction in all of these.
Princely Wedding Dilemma
My own Wedding Dilemma came when, in 2011 — and yes, the year is significant — I wrote To Marry A Prince. Fast. Only 14 weeks from idea (a brilliant publisher’s, not mine, though I fell in love with it as soon as we talked) to physical book in our hands. I enjoyed writing it, loved my heroine, fancied her prince like crazy, and I still read the book with pleasure.
Readers were very kind, some exceptionally so. But a small proportion of them were disappointed that the wedding itself was not on the page.
Would I have written the big royal occasion — trumpets, trains, curtseying to the monarch and waving from the balcony — if I’d had more time? I don’t honestly think so.
As an ending I gave my characters a stolen moment of intimacy before the wedding. That was what I felt my heroine wanted and — really important this — didn’t think she could get. But was I wrong?
In last week’s Wallow Poll, readers’ favourite wallow was the emotional one, with the lovers alone together, enjoying each other, but not in a sexual way. The wedding scene wallow came equal third. Out of five. Our poll was in no way statistically valid, but I do take a little comfort from it, even though I’m still sorry some readers of To Marry a Prince felt they had missed out on the wedding itself.
We hope none of our readers will miss out on our competition (below). You probably won’t be surprised to see that it’s on the theme of Weddings.
Win A Wedding-Themed Goody Bag
Here is our first ever Libertà competition, to win the gorgeous weddingy prize you can see above, including Penhaligon’s Artemisia.
If you want to have a chance of being the winner, please register below to receive occasional newsletters from the Libertà hive. (We hope you’ll enjoy our newsletter content, but you can unsubscribe at any time, of course.) Please note that we’re not harvesting emails of followers or readers who have already commented here on our website — it would feel like spam to us to send newsletters to anyone who hadn’t specifically asked to receive them — so if you want to be in the draw, you do need to sign up below.
The goody bag winner will be drawn at random from all those who have subscribed by midnight (UK time) on Sunday 5th June 2016. The lucky winner will be announced via the website and social media on Tuesday 7th June.