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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On Sequels and Series



We all know that in the land of movies, that the sequel is bound to suck at least a little. Or that in some point in a longer series there will be the inevitable Star Trek III or even worse, the dreaded Star Trek V (aka Are You There God? It's Me William "the Shat" Shatner). I've noticed that in many book series that I've read over the years, that sometimes sequels just go…wrong. Or that a beloved novel series devolves to the dear-God-now-Joey-and-Rachel-are-together point (you know what I mean, don't pretend that you never watched the painful end of Friends). Or even worse, you find there's a sequel to something that should never have a sequel a lá Andrew Lloyd Webber writing a sequel to Phantom of the Opera with its super mac-and-cheesey title Lover Never Dies.

So, how do authors know when enough is enough? How do you know if your story is worthy or needs a sequel? Do you end it with dignity intact, or do you ride the series waves until it crashes?

I'll admit that I've only written one sequel. And it is the most fun I've ever had writing. I already knew the characters, many of their ins and outs, and the world that I'd built. It's like visiting old friends and shoving them in an even deeper pit of rattlesnakes, just to see if they'll come back out again. Maybe I'm just an evil author, but I absolutely loved throwing characters I'd put through hell before into yet another desperate battle to be won.

I can very easily see how sequels can be addicting.

And how they can crash and burn.

What are your favorite series? Do you think the authors ended it well, or are they still going strong? What makes you put down a series?

1 Comments:

At April 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM , Blogger Carmen said...

"super mac-and-cheesey title" Ha! That was funny! I'm still gonna watch it, though.

 

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