You've read each update as it roles into your inbox, you savour each word and feel like 'okay now we are getting somewhere' but then... you get this feeling worse then realising a cliffie is coming up, this feeling is the, "wait! if the author has said there are only 2 more chapters... How are are Edward & Bella going to end up together. WAIT I don't think they are. THIS IS GONNA BE A NON-HEA!!"
I personally don't like to read nonHEAs but if the writing is exceptionally good then sometimes I can overlook it. However if the author says from the outset that a fic is nonHEA then I will 99% pass on the fic. The only way I do end up reading these nonHEAs is when you are told nothing and just hoping, or is it assuming, that everything is going to turn out alright.
Recently I was reading a fic where the author made a strong suggestion to a HEA for the E/B in the fic's summary. 20 odd chapters later it's become apparent that's not likely going to happen. True at this point it wouldn't make sense to the story, but in another way I feel like I've been duped into reading something that I normally wouldn't.
In another fic, which was a drabble and very popular until it started to drag and go off the rails, the author killed off one of the main characters, completely out of the blue. The reaction was pretty swift with some readers asking what was the point of it, that the story's genre should be changed to tragedy and if they had known they would have never have read the fic.
I can understand how this would have upset the author. Readers should have faith in the story right? Yet in this instance the death felt forced and sensational. Is it wrong to expect the author to respect the sensibilities of their readers in the same way authors expect readers to be respectful to them?
"But why would you want to read a fic knowing what the ending is going to be?" I've been asked this and it's a valid question. If I choose to read a book or other piece of fiction I don't really care about the destination, being more invested in the actual story. But fan fiction is different. I read fan fic for the romance firstly and then the story/writing. It's escapism in its most satisfying way and if a fic can also transcend and become an amazingly well written story then I feel like I've hit the jackpot. I want to always believe in a happy ending because lets face it, our RLs aren't always so easy to handle. When I finish a fic I don't want to cry sad tears.
This is what happened when I read.... SPOILER.... Closer by Teamsbella23. I seriously was not expecting that ending and burst into tears because of the shock. She eventually went onto make the sequel but the damage was done. Nevetheless I never forgot that fic, EVER.
And maybe that's the point of not revealing your intention for the ending. Closer resonated so loudly with me because the ending was so shocking and it really did feel true to the story in its entirity.
That being said, I am a HEA lover. I want to kick back at the end of the day and sink myself into a great fic. Sure it can be painful and angsty along the way but knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel means that I can make it through those bitter times.