Sequeling

Published September 14, 2010 by barbaraannwright

I said I’d never never do it again. Why have an entire trilogy no one wants to represent, I said. Why spin my wheels, I asked. It’s wasting time. It does no one any good. It just makes me sad…. I said all this, I know.

And you know what? It’s complete bollocks.

I like the worlds I’ve created. I’m proud of them. My writing group and my family want to read more stories about these worlds and these characters. I’ve got tons of notes and even a first draft. I’m writing a sequel.

The third book in a trilogy, actually. Many moons ago, I wrote a book called Paladins of the Storm Lord. It’s about a spaceship crew who gets thrown off course, develops super-human abilities and decides to be gods over the colonists they’re transporting. The bulk of it takes place on the colonists’ planet 250 years later when an epic catastrophe of the gods’ doing makes people begin to question their faith.

A couple years after I wrote Paladins and rewrote it….and rewrote it again, I wrote The Third Level, a sequel that I liked even better than the first. By then I knew these characters and what they were capable of. I enjoyed pushing them, mutating them and making them grow. Last year, for my nano, I wrote the rough draft of the third in my trilogy and now I’m fleshing it out, something I swore I wouldn’t do again.

So why now? Well, besides novel love, there’s also the hope that comes with e-books. If no publisher ever expresses an interest in these three books, even if another one of my books gets published, I can release these on my own, just to see them out there. That makes me happy and puts to bed those “spinning-my wheels” feelings.

^_^

Have you written a sequel? Do you ever plan to even if no one seems interested in Book 1? Would you ever write one if your beta readers wanted to know what happens next?

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16 comments on “Sequeling

  • I am writing a sequel at the moment. I have two more planned, each will stand on its own as well.
    E-publishing is certainly an option these days, but so is self-publishing if you put the work into it.

  • I saw this one today and thought of you:
    http://waxmanagency.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/back-in-the-september-swing/ (Though you may have already read it since Holly Root is spoken of by both Barbara Poelle and Janet Reid.)

    And about today’s post: everyone says, write what you enjoy. You’ll write it better than stuff you don’t. Besides, you can always start with publishing 4,5, and 6. Then twenty years later put out 1,2, and 3, which will, of course be a great disappointment to the old fans but beloved by the youth of the new generation.
    :)

  • I think I’m unlikely to do sequels because I’ve seen too many that were done for the sake of pushing editors and cash, rather than because there was a story. In those situations, the author just seems to rehash their first success without the enthusiasm.

    If I do a sequel, I want it to be because I knew I wasn’t done yet when I finished the first book. I’ve got to have a story that excites me or what’s the point?

  • I’ve written three books now that share certain features… the MC in the second book was a secondary one in the first, and the setting in the third has an obscure link to the others. That doesn’t make them real sequels but provides a familiarity I enjoy.

  • I haven’t written a sequel to any of my stuff yet, but I absolutely would if I wanted to. Kudos to you for doing that and pressing forward! Write what you want to! Plus, every novel you write makes you a better writer in the end, no matter what.

    And you’re right — you can always self-publish them someday if you want.

    All things considered, it’s about telling the story you feel you need to tell!

  • I did write a sequel after the first book, but looking back, I kind of wished I had spent my time writing a different book since I was still feeling my way around.

    On the plus side, I sold the first book, True Believers, releasing next month (yikes). And since I have the sequel already penned I’ll have something to offer later on should the first book do well.

    But on the flip side. When I sold Touch Of Fire, I did not have a sequel. Eye surgeries, accidents, and life kept getting in the way and it took a long time to write the sequel. I’m very happy with it because I’m a better writer now, but it almost didn’t happen.

    It proves sequels can just as easily be a burden as well as a blessing depending on how well the first book is received.

  • As a fan, plz keep writing. I want to see what happens next!

    Am just starting a sequal and while it’s great to know so much about my characters and their lives…it’s tough to narrow down the narrative and plot. also, my first drafts certainly not as good as my 3600th draft.

    Best argument for continuing your series? The answer by Elizabeth George of the “Inspector Lynley” mysteries at http://uktv.co.uk/alibi/item/aid/602422. Essentially, she started out with a different character as her hero. She says, “He [Simon Allcourt St James] featured in my first two unpublished crime novels – Lynley was in there too, but as a supporting character.Eventually my affections switched to the detective and my third novel – the first which was published – had Lynley and Havers as the leads.”

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