Monday, August 27, 2012

Is an HEA a Requirement?

Hello my reader (and writer) friends!  I have an important question to pose to you all today and hope to get some good feedback.

After I write both my planned sequels (easier said than done) for To Urn Her Love and A Very Southern Affair, I have an interesting project planned.  With the help of my mother and hopefully my husband (he's unaware of his involvement just yet) I have a series of short stories that will based on postcards my great-grandmother received from soldiers during WWI.  When going through a box of old postcards my grandparents kept on a shelf, I began to read them and noticed they were from men serving in the war.  Upon further investigation, I discovered there were about six men my great-grandmother corresponded with. Their letters to her, though brief, are so full of hope and appreciation, I'm simply inspired!  I want to use the letters to create shorts, each based on the individual men who wrote them, and pair them with a fictional female.  Since we don't have the other side of the letters, the story will be of course fiction, as I'll have to fill in those blanks.

Now, we know my great-grandmother never met any of this men.  And since some of the postcards abruptly stop coming as opposed to others, makes us question whether that man came home or not.  A sad fact.  So my question to you is, at the end of each series of letters the protagonists will write, is an HEA necessary?  I know I want at least three of the five I plan on writing to meet, but the other two?  Realistically none of the meetings would have likely occurred, so would having two realistic endings be the end of the series for me?  Would I lose readers?  Or, would having them all meet and have their happy ending be just as unrealistic?

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thank you for weighing in!

Elaina

10 comments:

  1. Wow, what an amazing idea! I had the idea to write a novel solely based on letters a wife wrote to her late husband, killed in the war, and her journey after his death. But, seeing as my husband is currently deployed, I couldn't stomach it. Its on the back burner.

    And to answer your question, NO. I don't think every story should have a HEA. Life isn't always HEA. Life is pain. Life is death. Life is heartache, strife, being dealt bad hands along with the good. Stories like this need to be true to life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with the above comment. Life doesn't always have a HEA. There are many endings in life so not every story has to have a HEA in my opinion. While I'm sure most people love a HEA story, I'm sure just as many can appreciate one without it. And coming from an era of war a HEA should not even be expected in every story.

    This is such a great idea! Good luck with them!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your thoughts, ladies! :-) I was talking about it with my mother this morning and she said "You know she never met any of them" and I told her I know. I'm allowed a bit freedom though as I write fiction, and while some of the letters (I figure I'll have to make a few up too) will be actual, the story around them will be fiction. I figure though it wouldn't be true to life if all of them met, it just wouldn't.

    And Melissa, I totally hear you about that story you're thinking about, what a tear jerker!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think this is a great project and no, not all the stories need an HEA. How about some kind of closure for the heroine where she get a letter from someone saying the soldier's last thought/words were about the heroine

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Lindsay! And I'm not sure if the family would contact her. Would they have known about her? I think it would be more likely she'd somehow contact them and learn the truth OR she would see his name in the paper. It's my understanding they listed MIA,KIA and POW monthly in the paper? Ugh, I can't imagine.... :-(((

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it would make the HEA ones that much sweeter if some of them didn't have it. It was wartime and some love stories didn't end well. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this is so true, which is why I posed the question, I just think it would almost be wrong NOT to include that aspect, you know?

      Delete
  7. No I don't think you have to have an HEA for each of these stories cause like you said this did not happen in real life so only having some find it would be more believable. because with war not everyone is going to make it home safe and sound...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Merriedth. I'm so glad everyone is on the same page! :-)

      Delete
  8. Elaina, it totally depends on the story. Sometimes its better to be true to the story. Sometimes romance ends in heartache and sometimes not. I say write it the way you envision it. People love the fairytale, but people are also realists and know that not everything ends in an HEA.

    ReplyDelete