Saturday, October 10, 2009

To Sequel or Not to Sequel

By Keith Fisher

In Hamlet Act three, scene one, is perhaps the most famous question in all of literature. To be, or not to be. That is the question. In this poignant scene the character is debating the disadvantages of suicide. Kind of like the theme song of Mash, Suicide is Painless, but I digress.

I was in the zone the other day, and working on my story was thrilling. The song, Back in the Saddle Again, written by Ray Whitely, and played by Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys comes to mind.

So, there I was, writing pearls of literature, when I realized I left two story lines open-ended. When I wrote the draft, it didn’t bother me. In this book, I’ve written over twenty-five characters, six POV’s, and fifteen interlacing story lines. So, to leave a few plots finished, but not ended, didn’t seem bad.

Suddenly, one of the characters showed me plots and stories leading in different directions than the ones I had planned. In the beginning, I never intended to grow this particular character. Her name is currently Sharon, but I’m sure she wants to change it. Anyway, I intended that she would have a short part in the story and move on. As the draft unfolded, Sharon ended up getting more depth and sympathy from me. I ended her story on a positive note and led the reader to a natural conclusion.

In the zone the other day, Sharon wouldn’t leave me alone. I now have three interlacing plots for a sequel and I am left with a choice. To sequel, or not to sequel. That is indeed the real question. If I don’t write the sequel, I have to go back and re-write the direction Sharon’s story went. It wouldn’t be hard, take out a couple of minor characters and send Sharon back to New York, but she doesn’t want to go.

Now, I sit here, staring at the plots I drew on my whiteboard. I’m getting more excited to write the sequel than I am about finishing the original. Sharon smiles as I write that, because she knows me. She knows I won’t let it go . . .

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.


L.T. Elliot said...

Sequel! Sequel! Sequel!

Hey, if Sharon wants it that bad and if you're excited about it, I say, what's the harm? At least you'll have something fun to write!

Evelyn Curtis said...

Very true, she will haunt you! What do you have to lose!?