So, I’ve been meditating on the differences between a series and a sequel — one is just a bit more open-ended, and requires a different pitch. One doesn’t write a synopsis for a novel series, but more of a proposal, with a bit of summary thrown in, so that your editor can see the high points and multiplicity of plots your characters can choose from, and where your storyline might go. With a sequel, you’re slightly tied to the original single, in that you have to make sure that whatever you write supports the first story, and ties up the loose ends you’ve left there to produce a satisfying, two-volume whole. The series option allows you to begin new story arcs which still have the ties to the original single, and must duplicate personality traits, etc., so that they hang together, but they’re not dependent upon the original and can be more episodic. At least, that’s my observation.

Suffice it to say that I don’t know quite what I’m doing, or even if I should be doing this — maybe I could just finish with the one novel before I have ideas of where it could go on next? — but the problem with that is that there are details in this novel which, previously, would have added up to an 800 page tome. As I revise — sharply cutting, there are big swathes of history and politics in this universe which are ending up on the cutting room floor. There’s a lot of story left in this story, but where to put it?

Sometimes, those stories just aren’t ever told. And, maybe that’s okay.

Meanwhile, I’m noodling through the issue of how to write this pitch, and checking Teh Internets (TM) to see what our collective wisdom – or lack of it – can provide, and I see this in the very small print of Absolute Write:

Please contact the authors if you’d like to reprint articles on this site. All copyrights are retained by original authors. And plagiarizers will be rounded up, handcuffed, and stuck into a very small and humid room wherein they must listen to Barney sing the “I Love You, You Love Me” song over and over again.

How is it that they managed to capture most of my high school babysitting experiences in just one sentence?

Right. Back to revising this science fiction novel, so that I can prove to myself I can actually complete one …never mind what its sequels and series potential might be.

2 Replies to “{errata}”

  1. I hate when what we do in the future would so impact how we would handle certain things now, but we don’t know the future and have to make those decisions now, regardless. But I know you’ll write the best damn book possible, and then will do the same for the series/sequel/companion book, whatever it turns out to be, if anything.

    Ah, the Barney song. Such sweet memories–ha!

  2. I think you are wise to finish with one novel before going onto the next, and keeping your histories for the possibilities of sharing more stories with the world. I know when I read your books that what is there is necessary, and hasn’t been padded with ornate passages about sumptuous cloaks and the particular shades of red spilled upon the snow (hem hem, George R.R. Martin).

    Speaking of Barney… in my daughter’s 1-3 year old preschool, a teacher showed her a stuffed animal of the purple celebrity. “It’s Barney!” the teacher said. My daughter just looked at it as if it had two heads. “It’s supposed to be a dinosaur,” I said to my daughter.

    “Rawr,” she replied.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.