Should a sequel have a sequel?

This time last year as I was preparing to undertake the National Novel Writing Month challenge, to write 50,000 words in November, I was kicking around several different ideas. I honestly had not decided which one I was going to pursue until November 1st, and then it was like when I used to be a swimmer, standing on the edge of the water, ready to take the plunge! it was exciting, and a little terrifying!

On November 1st 2013 I started to write the book which became Radwinter. My idea was of a family of four men, brothers, who wanted to explore their history, and asked the youngest, Thomas to research it for them. That was the main theme, but as I wrote it, Thomas began to take over, so in the end he was writing it… Sounds a little ridiculous, but that is how I felt at the time! He followed his family history as his own life fell apart; he had been married for ten years but things were going catastrophically wrong with his marriage. As if this wasn’t bad enough for him, the solicitors’ firm he worked for was relocating, merging with a bigger practice, and he was not included in the move! Needless to say, despite these events, by the end, Thomas had solved the Radwinter mystery, and was starting a happy new life.

To my surprise I found that I couldn’t just leave the story there, and after a lot of thought, I began to write my first ever sequel, the story of Thomas’s maternal line, the Magicks. This story was not just genealogical research, it also charted the new relationship Thomas had and his new life. He was also asked by a friend to search for her missing daughter, Emma; she knew Emma was alive, but was totally estranged from her family. For various reasons, not least that it seemed too contrived and too pat, Thomas did not succeed in this,although there was a conclusion to this theme because he found Emma’s children. he did succeed though in successfully tracing his maternal line, th Magick family.

Now I find that there is a third part to Thomas’s story; he had a dreadful upbringing, a horrible and traumatic childhood, looked after by two alcoholics… He wants now to face this. All his life he has buried his memories,tried to forget his own past… but now with a new family he wants to know about the people who brought him up, Sylvia and Edward Radwinter…

Here is my dilemma… should I write Thomas’s story? Should I write the story of Syl and Raddy? Should I write about Thomas’s continued search for Emma? I think I have the story,I know I have enough twists and turns in the plot, but is there enough of interest for readers? I shall ponder on this and will probably let you know on November 1st when the National Novel Writing month starts!


  1. david lewis

    I was listening to the radio on the way to the YMCA yesterday and it was about writing novels. It concluded that publishing wasn’t the main problem. The problem was that there wasn’t enough readers anymore. Our own library has all kind of schemes to get people to come in and read again including giving away new books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. david lewis

    A few months ago there was a young woman reading excerpts from her new novel at the library. I was totally enthralled by her presentation and how she got her ideas and how she was motivated. Naturally I thought of your experiences. What a great forum a library is to launch a book. It’s like preaching to the choir I guess.


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