A while back I wrote a post entitled the Perfect Ending, questioning whether there was such a thing.
As a reader, I tend to prefer ambiguous or mixed endings over happy ones. I know this goes against the general rules but I can’t help it. When I read, it’s not because I want to fall into a perfect or fantasy world. I don’t read science fiction or fantasy for this reason. I read because I want to learn something about humanity, see something I didn’t see before, and I want to be entertained. I’m looking for all of this in a world that may differ somewhat from mine but still resembles the real world. And in the real world there are no happy endings. Happy moments, sure. But Happily Ever After doesn’t exist. Just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
So … How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch doesn’t have a happy ending. The ending does serve its purpose though. The major conflict of the story – between the protagonist and antagonist is resolved but other problems still linger, for the reasons listed above and because this novel is the beginning of a series.
I had a vision for The Morrow Girls Series. I had a purpose that made me sit for hours in front of my computer churning out scene after scene, chapter after chapter. Two and a half novels. Not to mention the five or six that it took for me to realize my vision in the first place.
The Morrow Girls Series is centered around three major ideas.
- People can come from the same environment, same genetic pool and develop into completely distinct characters.
- Sometimes heroes are made and sometimes they are born.
- Out of devastation and pain can come tremendous strength and endurance.
So, here is the problem. Readers want a happy ending. In fact, they expect it. By not giving it to them am I crippling my series before it gets started? Should I rethink my vision for the series so that it has more commercial appeal?