Cheating, Or Being Bold?

Do you guys think it would be cheating to write a LMM fanfic that didn't have a romance - that was, in fact, somewhat the opposite, where the girl has the chance to get married, but chooses independence in the end?

Because I toyed with the idea of leaving Gwen single at the end of her series, but I've been setting her up so nicely for romance, and really, she IS the perfect match for someone in her life, and I would have a guilty conscience if I kept them apart.

But that's made me think how much I would love to write one where the heroine does not end up settling down with a husband and family, but chooses instead to pursue her other loves. Except I don't think LMM ever did that, and I'm not sure - it almost feels wrong to deviate so drastically from her usual pattern.

On the other hand, I've already made Rilla out to be not so great in the Gwen stories, and shattered the whole "Blythes are a perfect family" idea, so I suppose it would really only be taking it one step further.

What do you think? Would you feel cheated, reading an LMM fic that didn't end with True Love?
4 Responses
  1. Adrienne Says:

    I've been saving this for work, because I don't have much else going on here...

    I don't know. If you can make the heroine and her story interesting, then it will work. However, romance of some sort is always underlying in all LMM stories, I think. I don't hate the idea at all, I am curious to read what you have mulling in your mind.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I was thinking about doing a different Marigold story - I've always been a little unhappy with how preachy the first sequel I wrote came out, and how sanctimonious all the characters ended up being. Much more Louisa May Alcott than LMM, and even LMA hated how moralizing she had to make most of her books! But since there isn't really romance to begin with in Magic for Marigold, I thought I might be able to get away with having her choose independence as an adult, instead of marriage.

  3. Cath Says:

    I feel that the romantic aspect of things is usually the driving force in LMM stories...Magic for Marigold and Jane of Lantern Hill are my two least favorite LMM stories, and now I am wondering if it is because they lack the romantic aspect.

    But then, there's Emily, and to me, in the Emily books, the romance always seemed superfluous. Like, I think that Emily's Quest could have ended right after The Moral of the Rose was published. The part with Ilse's wedding and Teddy coming back seemed tacked on--and I seem to remember reading something once about how LMM was forced to add the romance by her publishers because they didn't think the book would sell without it.

    I think the story could work, if there was something more at stake than in Marigold and Jane, if it was more like Emily, with some quest or ambition other than romance driving the plot. Otherwise, it might fall flat.

    If you do decide to have Gwen "choose me" (in the words of 90210, lol) then I think you probably will have to address the feelings she seems to have for Tryg. It's pretty clear she doesn't like Oliver and his brand of friendship, but the readers (like me!) might be wondering why she wouldn't want to be with Tryg, when they are so compatible and so fond of each other.

    It's something I've been toying with, too, actually: You said something to me, once, Louise, about how you hoped Harry and Sally always remained good friends and didn't take their friendship to the next level. I've outlined two endings for my Blythe By Name stories, one where Sally and Harry do get it together, and one where they don't. I have no idea which I like better at this point, or even if I will ever (find the time to) write them. Who knows?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I was definitely thinking of something along the lines of Marigold (if I do it with her) vacillating throughout the entire story between her career/dreams, and what everyone expects of her, which is to marry her childhood sweetheart and settle down to raise a family. And then realizing that she and her sweetheart have just grown apart, and that her dream means more to her than meeting expectations ... something like that. So that the romance aspect is still present, but not the ultimate goal - self confidence and self-realization is the pivotal point.

    As for Gwen, I think some of my thoughts toward her were just that I didn't want to tame her, couldn't see her meekly settling down to raise babies and host sewing bees. But I CAN see her being the type to calmly tuck her baby under her arm as she goes out to deal with a major crisis, so I think in her case, romance might not be as crippling a factor as it is with some.