1. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA

    A sequel series many years later...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Oct 25, 2009.

    Let's say you're writing a series of books with your main character (Let's call him Howard Gibbins) set in the 1770s when he's 10 years old. He's got a goal and during the course of the series, he accomplishes this goal after much trial and hardships. The series ends on a happy note and everything's all happy, fine, great.

    Now...let's say you want to start a sequel series involving our dear Howard Gibbins and all his friends (that are still alive), only now it's set years later...about ten or twenty years later. He's 30 years old in the decade of 1790.

    My question is: How do you make the new series just as good as the older one? The thing is, I've heard that sequels often aren't as good as the older series and plus, what if Howard had already resolved the big goal that had driven him on in the first series? What other thing could he do?

    Also, would it be too jarring for the readers if they pick up the new book and Howard is now 30?

    Just curious. :)
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    You mentioned Howard already resolving his big goal.
    To me (my opinion) that is your biggest obstacle.

    My choice would be to take someone else that was in the Howard Gibbins
    books and structure your new stories around this other person. It allows
    you to stay in your "world" and gives you a fresh soul to torture,
    metaphorically speaking. ;)
     
  3. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Ah! Now that you mentioned it, I forgot to mention that in the sequel series, Howard may/may not have a kid.

    So maybe the new series follows the son or someone else who knows Howard. :)

    Would it be too much of a cliched to have the second sequel revolve around Howard's kid? That may be too much like Star Wars. :/ Well, as long as I don't make Howard evil or anything. XD

    But, wouldn't some people think I'd be milking it?
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    There are series you can refer to as examples. In Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series, we have seen her brilliant niece Lucy grow from an insecure, socially inept teen to a mature multi-millionaire in her early thirties.

    You could also read Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, set many years later.

    You could also read the various Orson Scott Card books that feature Andrew (Ender) Wiggin and Julian (Bean) Delphiki. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow focus on these characters as children, but other novels follow their adult lives.
     
  5. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    There are totally new conflicts that happen when you're an adult that never existed when they were a child. You would probably have to figure out the kinds of things that would happen to the character between 10 and thirty. Going through that kind of process, a new conflict could reveal itself.
     
  6. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    EDIT: THERE'S A MINI SPOILER IN THIS POST

    I don't think it would be a bad idea to write with How's kid as your main character. Feist did something similar, but it was not many years later as you describe. Rowling as well said if we was going to write another Potter book, it would no be based on Harry, but on his youngest son.
     
  7. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Good point. Just because Howard has things perfect when he's 10 doesn't mean it's gonna be that way when he's 30. He's gonna face new problems.

    But maybe by that time, I may be sick of writing from Howard's POV and focus more on maybe his friends or his children and they see his problems while having some of their own.

    EDIT: Wait, Rowling said that? COOL! If that's true, I'm getting into the Potter series again. :D
     
  8. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    She said that but she also said she's not going to write another book in that world in the near future
     
  9. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    He could potentially have the same conflict at age 30 as he did when he was 10. Look at Harry Potter. It's the same conflict (and same plot) for 7 books. Harry goes to school, Voldemort tries to kill him, Harry wins, Harry goes home. Each time, Harry dealt with the conflict in a different way. So, if you don't want to write from the POV of his children, then this could be one way to go.

    Of course, you could try to condense everything into one book and have a conflict that lasts for 20 years (or more). But I'm guessing this might not be feasible.
     
  10. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    That may be too complicated, writing a singular story (or a series) spanning 20 years. :/

    But I think it's a good idea if I focused the sequel onto someone else, like Howard's kid. Sure we'll see Howard and whatever new problem he's facing, but he's told his story in the first one. Time to let someone else take the spotlight.
     
  11. tonten
    Offline

    tonten Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    erm, I haven't read the series, but in Earthsea, isn't the story written from the eyes of Jed from when he was a boy till he was an old man over a span of novels?

    The whole series, much like Lord of the Rings, has 1 singular story as well I think.
     
  12. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    You wouldn't have to actually write all that stuff that happens between those years, just think about it and make notes on it the way you would when you're writing a character for the first time.
     
  13. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    clive cussler did it, too, with his hero dirk pitt mysteriously producing a son and a daughter, who are protags in cussler's later books...
     
  14. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Cool. :) I guess it's not as bad as I thought.

    Um, I just had a disturbing brainstorming about it. What if in the sequel involving Howard's child, Howard died of old age? That'd just be too tragic, especially if you go back to the beginning of the whole thing. D=
     
  15. Operaghost
    Offline

    Operaghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    theres no problem with picking up a story many years later involving the same character even if originally their story had been resolved, take a look at the adrian mole novels for instance which take place over many years, and lets not forget that The Lord of the rings is a sequal to the Hobbit and takes place many years afterwards. All that matters is that the story stands on its own in some way, after all not evryoen would have read the original. having said that there is nothing from stopping teh new story being connected to the original in soem way, maybe something they did whilst ten will have an impact on their future life?
     

Share This Page