The Desire to Write a Sequel vs the Desire to Write a Story

I already posted once this week, so I’ll probably keep this one short, but I wanted to make sure I do my new little Wednesday thang so I don’t lose my groove.

I mentioned in my last post that while reviewing the proofs of my soon-to-be published middle-grade novel, I had an impulse to write a sequel. You know that old tune sung by Marlene Deitrich, “Falling in Love Again?” That’s how I felt about my characters on this weekend’s run-through. I kinda thought I was done with that phase of my writing life, and my emotions surprised me. My characters are delightful! Funny! Smart!

It’s a very strange feeling. I don’t really feel like I have a story to tell in which they’d belong. I don’t really have plot ideas for Mendel, Yehudis, Ari, and crew. But I don’t want to let go!!!

I did leave an opening for a sequel at the conclusion of Glixman in a Fix, but I wonder if my desire to write a sequel – so different from the desire to tell a story – is insufficient to generate high-quality writing.

Last week, I read the most recent No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book, Precious and Grace. While I enjoyed reading about two of my favorite fictional characters, plot-wise, there were few surprises in the book. It’s like it merely existed to give us the pleasure of Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi’s company one more time. That made for a pleasant read, but not fine literature.

Has anyone else experienced this situation themselves, either as a writer or as a reader?




4 thoughts on “The Desire to Write a Sequel vs the Desire to Write a Story

  1. I’ve experienced it as a Doctor Who fan, actually. Other fans say, “Bring back the Daleks! Bring back the Time Lords!” but I get tired of rehased stories and would rather see something new.

    I don’t get that feeling to the same extent with other series, but it probably is there in the background. For example, I love Sherlock Holmes, but of the sixty canonical stories, some are basically structural repeats of earlier stories, others are really non-Holmes stories into which Holmes and Watson have been pasted to sell better. Some of the later stories in particular are really not very good. It doesn’t help that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle got bored of Holmes early on (he felt Holmes was overshadowing his serious writing) and killed him off, only to bring him back for money.


    • YES! That’s the exact phenomenon I was thinking about. You’ve got to make it new, not just a play for the money of fans of the original book, and not just a rehashing of what you’ve done before because you can’t let go.


  2. I recently got that feeling. Shortly after completing “Yaakov and the Secret of Acra Fortress,” and having recently read a historical book, “Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean,” I wanted to take a break from my current Peretz Family Adventures series in order to start an entirely new series on Jewish kids resisting the Spanish Inquisition.

    However, I realized that my current series is gaining some momentum, and that my writing itself is improving with each sequel. So, rather than pause a good thing, I decided to put my new series idea on the back-burner and continue providing my readers Witt takes of the Peretz family. Book 4 is now in pre-production.


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