Most romance novels have a happily ever after, says Anne Greenwood Brown. That’s just the way it is – what people expect. Your book is more likely to be accepted by editors and be bought in the marketplace if it has a happy ending. Why is that? The modern audience has different expectations and an innate concept of story where all the pulse points should be hitting. The reader expects the inciting incident to happen about 25% of the way in to the story and for the midpoint (the trash compactor) to hit half way through. Through movies and modern books, we have come to expect a pattern of plot and pacing, so to be successful, you have to meet those expectations if you want to be published and popular.