The downside of writing sequels - Page 4

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 31 to 35 of 35
  1. #31
    "the sequel to a successful franchise ALWAYS has better odds of success than a book about something completely new "
    This I have experienced. I've actually had reviews on the books I wrote between sequels* where the reader would say "This book was good, but it wasn't Calizona." So I'd go back and write another sequel.


    "I am 100% positive she would have chosen to write ANOTHER Harry Potter themed book instead."
    She did; it's called Fantastic Beasts. It's a prequel to the HP series. Really good actually.


    "Anne McCaffrey comes to mind. Her longest series of books about the dragonriders of Pern "
    I actually read a fair amount of her work...but never the series. Odd, eh?



    "Any book may fail to take off, and if book 1 doesn't find readers, it may make sense to abandon the series and move to either a new series or a standalone. But in general, I'd say three books in a successful series will sell better than three standalones."
    This was a point I was trying to make to ironpony in another thread.






    *The Calizona books are research heavy books that involve huge casts of diverse characters, so between each I would take a break and write something with a small cast. But none sold well.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    "Anne McCaffrey comes to mind. Her longest series of books about the dragonriders of Pern "
    I actually read a fair amount of her work...but never the series. Odd, eh?
    No. There is an evident formulaic quality to her dragonrider books that any particular reader may accept or reject, so I suspect that they tend to be divisive. Her pure science fiction showed a much wider imaginative scope and no doubt appealed to readers who would not find it in the Pern stories. I read the Pern series purely for relaxation but The Crystal Singer met a very different need in me although it still had the "girl does well" basic theme that McCaffrey openly stated that she intended to adopt to even up the gender imbalance in science fiction.

    That is possibly a point to consider so far as sequels are concerned. If your novel is intended to present a particular attitude or message then readers might not be drawn to a sequel because they'd already got the message and didn't need it to be hammered home. On the other hand I personally have no aversion to the "girl does well" theme and watched the entire series of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on TV as well as True Blood for example, so one needs to think about the underlying theme that one plans to extend in sequels and decide whether it is likely to be a stayer.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post

    "Anne McCaffrey comes to mind. Her longest series of books about the dragonriders of Pern "
    I actually read a fair amount of her work...but never the series. Odd, eh?.

    Not to me. Unless something comes recommended or I love the author, I avoid series where possible as a reader. If given the choice and the quality is the same I will choose reading three standalones over a trilogy every time.
    "All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened."

    Hidden Content



  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Not to me. Unless something comes recommended or I love the author, I avoid series where possible as a reader. If given the choice and the quality is the same I will choose reading three standalones over a trilogy every time.
    I wish I had more readers like you

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Not to me. Unless something comes recommended or I love the author, I avoid series where possible as a reader. If given the choice and the quality is the same I will choose reading three standalones over a trilogy every time.
    If I ever rewrite my story in its extended form then I might seek you out as a beta reader then. There's little risk of that though.

    What is a novel though? I have Peter F Hamilton's enormous Night's Dawn Trilogy in paperbook form and each novel is about 1200 pages long. This is probably the ultimate space opera trilogy though. Few writers could achieve anything like it successfully. Could it have been such a success if published as more standard length novels? Would I have read the entire saga if it had been? I doubt it, but I was pleased to read it in the form that it was published. I think the way that a long story is divided up for publication can give the reader a false impression of its nature. That is why I am cautious about making any serious attempt to bring my long story into existence in fragments.

    I also have the entire Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R Donaldson, which are three trilogies although the series ends with a fourth book in the last. While I really enjoyed the first trilogy my enthusiasm did wane throughout the following ones as Donaldson's other world was eroded by tracks beaten bare by earlier books. That is the risk of writing sequels, that the novelty of the original is worn thin and the writer has to break new ground in later stories.

    In contrast Hamilton chose to build his vast world from the outset, risking loss of the reader's interest through infodumps of minutiae rather than providing rapid gratification by maintaining an enthralling story line and plot. Every world building SF writer (and WF appears to have many of these) has to decide how to tackle the dual needs of building the world and telling a story within it, but Hamilton chose to make building his world an explicit integral component of the story rather than an implicit one. Breaking the story up into more novels would have fragmented it too much and the reader would have been misled into thinking that those smaller novels contained stories within themselves, which they most likely wouldn't have done. His novels were long because his story was long. In contrast a reader couldn't make a commitment to read ten long novels in Donaldson's series from the outset and only persistent fans would do so.

    I guess that means that a big story with a big setting needs big books, which aren't actually promising territory for novice writers, and it is better to plan ahead than write straggling series piecemeal.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.