Writing Sequels

Writing fiction that doesn’t fit neatly into any category, I don’t have a quick answer when people ask me, “Oh. What do you write?” So when I stumble and stutter my way through an answer of sorts, the next question is invariably, “Do you write sequels?”

At least I have an easy answer to that one. “No.” If they ask why, I explain. “My characters start flawed at the beginning, and grow throughout the book. At the end, they have realized a life-changing experience. If I write a sequel, where do they go from there?”

But one definition of sequels is books that share the same characters. And so far, 3 of the 4 books I’ve written and the one I’m working on share the character Morgan le Fay (she makes not even a token appearance in Return from Avalon (and Points West), hereafter abbreviated as RFA. If I’d known this trend then, I’ve have given her at least a cameo appearance). I guess that sort of qualifies as a sequel.

Still, there are characters in books I’ve written that deserve their own story. SusanH is a big Oswald fan (Sir Kay’s squire in The Life and Adventures of Sir Kay) and is openly campaigning for him to have his own story.  My favorite character to consider writing a sequel about is Meg from RFA. But so far these are all just idle musings.

But (and there’s always that but, isn’t there?).

At the end of Avalon, S.C., I threw in a gratis reference to RFA.

Sabrina laughed.  “Of course not, silly.  That only applies to the Lady of the Lake.  There’s one of those already.  She lives in Wales.  We have to go meet her sometime soon and pay our respects.”

Now, if I ever decide to write Meg’s story, there will be an opportunity for Sabrina (and Rick? will they still be together then?) to visit Vivian and the heir-designate, Meg.

Today I made an ever closer tie between books. Actually, I started it a couple of chapters ago. Nimue came to Camelot to visit the court of King Arthur in the year 512, 8-9 years after Merlin died.  She brings with her two young girls, one around 8, the other maybe 2.  And is accompanied by a strange man who looks a lot like Merlin.

(cue eerie music)

And today the strange man had his first speaking part. We pick up the action at the Old Boar’s Head. Kay is being feted for winning a trial by combat to prove that the so-called Holy Grail was a fake. Everybody is pretty wasted by this time.

“Speech,” someone called from the back of the room, and everyone quickly took up the cry. “Speech, speech.” Then they were clapping and stomping again and nothing would do except for me to get up and say something. And for once in my life I couldn’t think of a single fucking thing to say.

“My friends. You’ve all been sitting there so politely. Listening to Cambry’s magnificent song. Drinking toasts in my honor. Making me proud to be your friend. But just looking at you I know that, deep down inside, you’ve all been wondering the same thing: Suppose good old Sir Kay left Camelot at eight in the morning riding three miles an hour, and you didn’t get started until ten but you were riding four miles an hour. How long would it take for you to catch up with him so you could tell him what a great guy he was?”

As people recognized what I was asking there was an undercurrent of low chuckles. Good ol’ Sir Kay. He’s a hopeless geek, but at least he’s our geek. But when I finished my question and paused, it got quiet. That made it easy to hear the answer from a table over on the far right.

“Six hours.”

And yes, I’m having a great time writing this book. Thanks for asking.



16 thoughts on “Writing Sequels

  1. Now I’m curious to see if this is just to be a cameo or if George fits prominently in the story to come.

    People are always growing. Luke Skywalker has a life changing experience but it takes three movies to show that change. Sequels are not that hard to do.

    • Sequels are hard for ME to do (they may be easy for you, once you get your first one done!).

      But . . . Star wars II & III weren’t sequels; they were all part of one big story. A sequel would happen after the final confrontation with Darth Vader and all the revelations. Hard to imagine what they could do that would stand up to the standard they’d set. Wait! I know! Let’s write a prequel.

      • I’m getting there. As soon as we get the house sold and we move, I’ll finish Deep Blue then get back to rebuilding Wanderer.

  2. Bruce! LOL @ not that hard to do!
    Rusty, when have you not had a great time writing a book? From its inception to the point where font hits the page, I’ve noticed you are always a buzz about a current and upcoming project. And guess what, it shows in your work. No mediocrity there.

  3. Pingback: Stranger in a Strange Land | allthingswordsblog

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