More thoughts on writing a sequel

I think I am about half way through writing my sequel to Radwinter, Magick… although maybe it is the second book in a series? What is the definition of a sequel…Well the definition a work, such  as a TV show, a film, a broadcast, a novel  which continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one. Well Magick does that, it continues the quest of Thomas Radwinter to discover his past and his genealogical roots but this time exploring his maternal rather than his paternal line. Another definition I’ve found states that the  narrative of a sequel continues that of a pre-existing work, which Magick also does.

What I am wondering is does the word sequel imply the work concludes the narrative of the first story, is the other half the final part? Radwinter stands alone as a novel, the idea of Thomas continuing his genealogical journey is not really mentioned except one of his brothers casually asks about his mother’s family tree. I want Magick to stand alone too, I want someone reading Magick to be able to follow the story without feeling that there are bits missing – which are in the first novel they haven’t read. At the same time references have to be made to some of the things which happened in Radwinter… it’s a balancing act… to say enough, but not too much. I would like someone who reads Magick first to want to read Radwinter afterwards, and when they do read it for there to be some surprises and the ‘reveal’ at the end to be a clear surprise!

5 Comments

  1. david lewis

    My father was an avid reader and he loved sequels like the Sacket family series by Louis Lamoore. Think the names right. My wife is the same way and she followed the history of the Winslow and Duval families. Trouble came when our local library didn’t purchase the last books in the series of both that left her hanging and more than a little miffed. I think reading books in a series can become addictive but fun. I remember having to go to the movies every Saturday to see if Tarzan had survived the fall from the cliff or the herd of stampeding elephants coming at him. You somehow knew he survived but weren’t quite sure. One question. When you write a book do you know how it will end and just have to figure how to get there or is the ending just as much a surprise to you?

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    1. Lois

      I used to love Tarzan – I loved the books and loved the films too! What was the Saturday cinema club called…? I can’t remember, but it was always a riot with the naughty boys throwing things and the managers trying to get them to behave!
      I don’t usually know how the book will end, although I may have a rough idea, but usually it changes. That’s what is fun about writing, I never know where it is going!
      I’ll look for the books you mentioned, they sound interesting!

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  2. david lewis

    Gilbert Morris wrote about both the Winslow and Duval families. Both series start back when they leave Europe for the new world. I guess I could write an updated version of leaving Manchester for Sault Ste Marie Canada. It wouldn’t even have to be fiction though, as I have had more of my share of excitement and am still alive to tell about it.

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