Monday, May 5, 2014

When you shouldn't write a sequel

(rock balancing--without glue--by my husband)

Many authors would keep what I'm about to share a secret. And rightfully so. They prefer not to reveal the dust bunnies under their rugs. But I'm a sharer. And besides I find this interesting--and I'm guessing so will you. And so...
You may have noticed that my 'Work in Progress' page has undergone a change. Now A Long Way From Her stands a lone--when it was once accompanied by proposed sequels.
I found an interesting article--Stuff to Consider About Writing Sequels--by Natalie Whipple. Some of the questions Ms. Whipple prompted me to ask myself were...
-has a publisher already contracted to publish my sequel?
-have I placed the first book in the series with a publisher?
-has a publisher asked me to write a sequel?
Then why am I writing sequels, Natalie Whipple wanted to know.
'Is it because you're high on the story and want to keep going?'
'Is it because you are 100% sure this book will sell and people will be begging for more immediately?'
Then I read this paragraph: 'Whatever the reason, really think about it. Think about if it's worth the risk. Choosing to write a sequel is even more risky than writing that initial book--it's a book that essentially has no chance to sell unless the first does.'
I read five words over again, 'risky' and 'no chance to sell'. I shuttered and breathed out slowly. This paragraph was a wake up
call. And I'm so glad I heard read it. A Long Way From Her will be published--because I'm committed to making that happen. But exactly when I can't tell you. And in case it does take a long time I thought I should start work on other projects--which I've done (in total, I've made 33 submissions--since January 6, 2014). 
This Friday's guest:  Mystery and short story author Erika Chase
For your eyes only...
 I offer this short sequel to A Long Way From Her...

(rock balancing--without glue--by my husband)

All night long something had been peculating in my brain as I slept. I woke with a nagging feeling of unease. I have to do something. But I had no idea what. I could liken the feeling to waiting for summer holidays, as a kid.
I don’t have children; I’m not a parent. And, instead of taking a large block of holidays, Floyd prefers to take a day here and there. He never wants to go anywhere or do anything. Being a one-income family, we don’t have the money for it, anyway. So, content, we stay at home. One day folding into the next following the natural rhythm of life. Ebb. Flow. But today I felt like I was dealing with an unexpected emotional flood. Not knowing what else to do, I tried to keep busy.
I dusted. Swept the floor. Vacuumed. Cleaned the bathroom.
Are we expecting company?” Floyd emerged from his home office.
No.” I walked over to the fridge, opened it and began to remove the contents. “The house just needs a good going over.” I dunked a cloth into a bucket of soapy water.
I’ll say.” He started to chuckle. I joined in. But stopped abruptly. “Wait. Are you implying I’m not domestic?” I’m not—he knows this, so do I.
Heavens no,” he lied, and looked for a safe route back to his computer. Before he could escape, I raised my wet left hand. “You knew what you were getting before you put this ring on this finger.”
He left and I returned to my chore--the fridge swallowed my arm up to the elbow. That’s when I heard a little voice, singing softly in my ear, “I have a story for you, Lyndi.”
My muse is sadistic. For some reason, she enjoys visiting me when I’m up to my ears in cooking, cleaning, or some other domestic chore.
What now?” I asked. “My hands are wet. I have no paper. No pen.”
Yes, now.” I heard her say. “Unless you want me to leave—never to return.”
No. No, I’m ready.”
In our relationship, she has the up hand. And, so, she began…


Misha Gericke said...

I agree that it's good to prioritize other projects before a sequel if book 1 hasn't sold.

Luckily for me, I know I'm going to self publish for the near future, so I can work on anything I like. :-)

Leanne Dyck said...

Hi Misha,
Yes, that is an advantage of being an indi author--and I'm glad I started that way.
Thank you for your comment.

mooderino said...

it's good to have ideas for a sequel but I think it's worth waiting for the first to sell before you out in the serious effort of writing the second.

Moody Writing

Leanne Dyck said...

I agree, Moody. And I'm of the firm mind that no writing is wasted. So, I figure, as long as I keep writing I win. : )

June Lorraine said...

Great post Leanne, some helpful insights.

Laurie Buchanan said...

"But I'm a sharer. "

And so you are — generous in sharing information that is oh-so-helpful. You're a wonderful resource, Leanne. Thank you!

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you, June. I'm glad you found this article helpful. Happy writing.

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thank you, Laurie. I enjoyed your titling at windmills article, today.