Monday, September 19, 2011

Of Sequels and Such

One of the interesting (or do I mean frustrating?) things about writing a sequel, is that you have to catch the reader up on all of the relevant backstory from the previous book. How much time should you spend on reintroducing characters? How many of the subplots does the reader need to know? As I write the first chunk of chapters for Flower of the Desert, I have been dealing with these questions in a very concrete way. And sometimes, finding the right answers to them feels like pounding my forehead against a slab of concrete.

I remember reading various sequels whose opening chapters annoyed me to no end. If the author spends too much time on rehash, you think, "I already know all this from the last book--let's get on with the story!" If the author rushes through the recap too quickly and with too many narrative gaps, you feel a little bit of vertigo--"Was the plot of the last book really that confusing?" My least favorite sensation is when the sequel, in a botched attempt to summarize, tells a slightly different version of the story than the previous book. "That's not the way it happened...."

So, here's to hoping I don't make any of those mistakes with Flower of the Desert: Book II of the Chronicles of Tancred. Thanks for reading and enjoy the sneak peek at the cover for my WIP!

2 comments:

  1. Looking forward to Book 2! I hope you summarize just a teeny bit, a la our favorite television shows that say, "Previously on..." Moments like that are helpful. But I also agree, don't go on too long.

    I'm sure you'll do a fine job-- thanks for your hard work!

    Laura Hartness
    CalicoCritic.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Laura! I'm doing my best to find just the right balance....

    ReplyDelete

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