Friday, July 6, 2012
To Sequel...or not?
So... Our New Book has been read, and it was great. It brought tension and romance and excitement and mystery into our lives for a while - now we can shut the book, or turn off the e-reader, take a deep breath and relax into the memories.
Or do we think ... what happens next?? What happens after the last page is turned? Do we care, either as authors or readers?
A. B. Gayle about Sequels and Spin-Offs. We both write mainly romance and it's all about creating sympathetic Main Characters, a plot conflict (either external or internal), a romantic journey and resolution of that conflict. Pop in some sexy smooching, in my case, too :). And then - the Happy Ever After!
But when readers say - I wanted more! / I wish I knew what happens to them after that / What about Secondary couple C+D? / How can you leave it there??? ... what's to do? A.B. is writing a sequel to her latest novel right now. I've never actually written sequels, but I am considering a spin-off for two secondary characters in my erotic m/m romance novel True Colors.
As A.B. and I see it, there are a few different options:
1. The Epilogue where the author makes sure all loose ends are neatly tidied up.
2. A short story, published separately, showing the characters living happily together. Holiday themed stories that authors write involving their popular characters are an example of this.
3. A follow up story where unresolved external issues from the past intrude.
4. A sequel where the nature of their personality differences or their living conditions provide new / unexpected conflict. (the factors that can tear them apart)
5. Ongoing books in a series where their jobs and/or world allows for ongoing adventures that are as interesting and significant as the parallel romance plot which develops over the series.
6. Spin Offs involving minor characters in the first book which show the ongoing relationship of the initial characters in their own secondary role.
Each of these has a place depending on the characters and circumstances of the initial book.
But do we run the risk of losing the tension of book#1 / disappointing readers' expections, already racked high from their enjoyment of book #1 / disappointing ourselves as authors, craving new challenge rather than revisiting existing?
Or is it one hell of a blast to dip back into a favourite character's life, and share it with your readers?
The full text of the blog post I did with A. B. Gayle is here.
The "Keep Calm" pic is with credit to keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk.
Pic from "Oliver!" is with credit to the copyright owners.
Clare London, Author
Writing ... Man to Man
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