And now for something completely different
Posted August 16, 2010on:
I finished last post with a brief mention of sequels, so this time I will have a discussion of sequels. Ha, and you thought I was going to talk about Monty Python, just because I said I would in a totally different venue.
My take on sequels is pretty simple: I’ve seen it done before (since I wrote the last one), so I shouldn’t do it again. For me this isn’t usually a problem, since I also write pretty slowly, and so far my writing has taken place over some pretty drastic life changes. As a result my writing style changes from book to book anyway. So far I’ve only written one sequel, A Warrior Made, which is the follow-up to Unbinding the Stone. It takes place twenty years after the end of Stone, and has quite a few new characters, some of whom were introduced in Stone. This is only to be expected, I would think, since time has passed, people have been born, aged, died, and times are different. Even if I had written the story immediately after finishing Stone I would expect this. To be honest I don’t know whether my book would be as different as it is if I hadn’t spent three fruitless years trying to get an agent or gone back to school, or any of the things I did like that. What I do know is that when I got around to starting Warrior, it was many years after I’d finished Stone and I was taking classes in computer science. I was a different man by then.
Which is the point. The book is the product of the author who wrote it. If the author doesn’t change the books he writes probably won’t either. The problem is that the author is the product of the books he’s written, or should be. A book that does not change the author as he’s writing it is a book that means nothing and probably shouldn’t have been written in the first place. On second thought, leave off the ‘probably’. In a properly written book, the author will be changed simply by the act of writing it, so the next book will of course be written by a different man and therefore be a different book.
Some time off between books would still be a good thing, though. Read, learn, get some new life experiences going on.