Stranger in a Strange Land

I warned you back in a blog post on Dec 4th, 2013, “Writing Sequels,”  that this moment was coming. That George Foster was going to appear in The Adventures of Sir Kay. But of course, you weren’t paying that close attention yet. And you didn’t really know what it meant anyway.

Well, ta-da-da-da!

This is the first time I’ve brought a character from a previous novel into another one. It was just too much fun to resist. And after all, in Rusty’s Arthurian world, there is a person living there from the future, George Foster. Not to mention in another few years, there’s going to be another, Sabrina’s troublesome boyfriend J.D. *** Will J.D.’s sacrifice save King Arthur? Gonna be tight.

The general consensus from readers is that it’s fun. That was my conclusion–having George show up in this novel was too much fun to resist.

But Bruce sums up the problem concisely:

I like that we see George here but out of curiosity, for someone who hadn’t read Avalon, SC wouldn’t this whole chapter be a little “out of the blue” and out of place?

Yes. I’m not sure how to handle that. I’m thinking a short introduction/preface where I explain what I’ve done, and then a short section in the back that tells who he is and why he’s there. And of course, a link so you can just buy the book if you haven’t.

I’ll be most happy to entertain other ideas, though.

In Avalon, S.C., Rick comes up with a money making scheme. Take gold back to the 6th century. Swap it for Roman coins, which would be worth much more than their face value here.

But obviously there is an even better scheme: take coffee back.

starbucks

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7 thoughts on “Stranger in a Strange Land

  1. Definitely the “Note from the author” in back with a link to buy Avalon, SC. Not sure if the one in the front is necessary. With my Kindle, when I click on a book to begin reading, it jumps to Chapter One (or the Prologue). I can Go To the “front matter,” but I won’t see that without taking specific action. You could force the book to open at a preface/introduction but would that be irritating to readers? Just thoughts.

  2. I’m actually curious to hear Stella’s opinion. She is the Guru after all. Am I making too much out of this?

    I would have the same problem if Kay were to use a bow and arrow toward the end to rescue Elaine. You have done nothing up until this point to establish a proficiency in archery so if Kay suddenly develops one to solve his problem, I as a reader would consider it a bit cheesy.

    Granted, George does nothing to advance either the A story or the B story but so far you’ve devoted an entire chapter to a character who is reasonably unimportant.

    I hate to say this, but perhaps you should strike the chapter. This discussion would go well in a story about George’s life in the 6th century… Johnny Reb in King Arthur’s Court… kind of thing. But if all you intend this to be is a cameo appearance by George Foster, it may be a little too involved.

    As much as I’d love to know how George is getting along in Nimue’s world, if this doesn’t advance your story should it be included?

    • Delighted that you’re spending your precious time mulling over my problem. And I don’t disagree with much that you say. Except . . .

      Only in plot-driven fiction does the rule, “if it doesn’t advance the story, it shouldn’t be included” apply. And what I write isn’t plot-driven fiction. Sure, plot is important. But in the end, it’s mostly a vehicle to give Sir Kay things to ponder over and wax eloquent (and/or snarky) about.

      • Not sure I agree with the premise the rule only applies in plot-driven fiction. That’s way too much of a blanket statement for me. Not sure there are many pure plot- or character-driven stories. I think upon closer examination they are a blend. The plot is the vehicle for the character arc, right?

        Okay on to the other thought. Readers get attached to characters. They like to revisit with them. Look at serials, soaps, etc. I have no problem with George being there. I think it’s a nice touch … whimsical, maybe? And I’m curious about him, and invested.

        I also don’t have a problem with plausibility. And I don’t feel the need to have things wrap up perfectly. If I had that problem I wouldn’t buy the idea of Morgan traveling in different bodies, amongst many of Rusty’s theories. In fact, I wouldn’t buy the idea of mermaids.

        So where do I fall on this? Inconclusive as yet. I’d have to read the manuscript as a whole rather than tidbits of chapters.

      • How about applying your own words then. The rule “if it doesn’t advance the story, it shouldn’t be included” is “way too much of a blanket statement for me,” particularly when it comes to a character-driven story. Where the plot is a vehicle but not the only vehicle for the character arc.

      • What??? You don’t believe in mermaids???

        If I sobered up I’d stop seeing em. 😛

        I’m not so concerned about plausibility as I am place. Rusty and I are both fantasy writers of sorts so reality doesn’t have much sway in our stories. George’s appearance here just seems a little contrived and to someone who hasn’t read Avalon, SC, it would seem to me that they would be left with scratching their heads here.

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