I’d like to welcome Richard Blunt to my notebook today. The other day I was talking about sequels I’m looking forward to. Today, Richard discusses the challenge in writing sequels.
The Challenge with Sequels
By Richard Blunt
Do you like reading sequels as much as I do? Well, OK, that might depend on how much I like reading sequels I suppose. *grin* But you might have guessed it, I love sequels. Or to phrase it more specific:
I love it when a good story doesn’t just end, but continues. The problem is: Can you make a good story better by continuing it? Or can you at least hold the quality? In my opinion this is one of two things that set apart nice stories from really great stories. If you look at authors like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle or J.K. Rowling, they all managed to pull that off and write book after book without getting lame, overly repeating or just boring. The second thing that sets nice book series apart from great ones is consistency, and that is even harder. Christie and Doyle had quite an easy life, because although they always had the same setting and the same main characters (like Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes) the stories themselves had little to do with each other. Real connected stories (like Harry Potter) are where it gets really tricky. Can you write a first part of a story and already think about the last? And about how all the pieces will fit together in the end?
Unfortunately almost nobody really can.
When I started writing Lucas Trent I gave it my very best shot trying to hold up to my own high standards. Before I even wrote the first chapter of “Guardian in Magic” I spent months defining details, creating characters, outlining a plot that will span several books and trying to think ahead in all details. And I have to tell you, I thought I had really wrapped it all up, I thought I really had considered everything. Well, when I started writing the first sequel to Lucas Trent: Guardian in Magic I was forced to think again… Because even though I spent much time with it I still forgot details. So far I was able to compensate for that, and hopefully I will be to the end, but I have to tell you, my respect for those few that have managed consistency through and through has increased dramatically due to that experience.
So let me finish with a challenge: Those of you who like good sequels as much as I do should read Lucas Trent. If you find the one detail that I missed in all my reviews write me an email. The first one who catches it will get part three of the story for free.
Richard Blunt is the author of the fantasy novel, Lucas Trent: Guardian in Magic. He is currently working on his second book in the Lucas Trent series. You can visit his website at www.lucastrent.com. Visit him on Twitter at @Lucas_Trent and Facebook at Richard Blunt.