Write me: michelle@michellejoquinn.com

By Guest Blogger Johanna Lee

I don’t know how many times I’ve admitted that I am a compulsive collector. When there is an item I’ve grown fond of, I will start a collection.


I’ve collected teddybears, fountain pens, Minions, Nerf guns, and then there are books… 


I am that person who, after reading ONE story from an author, MUST have ALL the titles that author has ever written. I will search the bookstores, both online and offline. So can you imagine what I’m like when the author writes a series?


Being fully aware of this quirk, I try to avoid any story that have sequels. I can imagine myself going mental if I could not find Part 2 of 3, but have Parts 1 and 3.


On Wattpad, I have seen many authors write trilogies, sequels to their finished novel, and stories that are not exactly a continuation of a book, but friends/relatives of the main character can be found on a story of their own. I try to avoid them like a plague to prevent me from being disappointed when the next series is no longer available.


Maybe, there might be people out there who are the same as I am about not wanting to touch a serialised book with a ten-foot pole. There was a time when I read a comment on Wattpad saying how they thought the story was fine as it was to end where it did. The member questioned why the author decided to do a sequel, and made the accusation of the author being lazy to think of something new.


It was funny how I actually swore that I wouldn’t write series, because I didn’t want readers to have the same concerns that I had; what if the next part wasn’t available?. I didn’t want readers to think I’m being lazy to think of something new. I don’t want people to think that I’m just “riding on” a previous story’s fame…Then again, I reminded myself of the fact that the very first manuscript I wrote was  a series. The short story I submitted for Mistletoe and Mischief –A Wattpad Romance Anthology and Hearts On Sleeve–A Valentine’s Day Anthology turned out as a series. Daybreak at the Galleon Lodge was followed by Dusk at the Galleon Lodge.


Why do we write sequels? Why do we continue with our characters’ stories even after we have typed THE END? It isn’t because we are lazy to think of something entirely new, or riding on the success of the first book. Maybe some authors are lazy, and are clinging on to the success of their first book, but let me share my personal reasons why I have sequels on some of my stories, and some authors might have the same reasons as I do.


1. Our characters are like our children, some are like our lovers. We fall in love with them. We don’t want to let them go.
2. Because we are not lazy. To tell you the truth, it is actually harder to continue with a series than it is to create an entirely new one. While a new and different book offers you a clean slate, the sequel must:
a. The story must justify the sequel’s existence.
b. There’s a risk that the plot may not be as good as the previous. Thus, you don’t meet the readers’ expectations.
c. We know that the sequel MUST outdo the story that started it all.
3. We believe that there’s more to reveal about the character, and we want to see them grow.
4. Book 1 did not show the other side of the story, and Book 2 gives that opportunity to show that.
5. Some of us dream to be like Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon. Though those were pen names used by a team of writers from the Stratemeyer Syndicate, the idea of penning a large volume of books is the ultimate dream. Okay, I guess the better example to use here would be Nick Bantock, with his The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy, which continued with The Morning Star Trilogy. His new book, The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine’s Lost Correspondence, “is the one that links both trilogies.” Then of course, there’s J.K. Rowling with her Harry Potter Series, which I still haven’t read.
6. Because our characters’ stories don’t end after we have typed THE END.


Personally, despite comments about writing a story featuring a supporting character on my Wattpad story Losing Cinderella; or further expanding on the substories found on my Radish Fiction story, Death’s Heart; I couldn’t imagine myself doing another series. However, it doesn’t mean that the possibility of  writing one is nil.



You can connect with Johanna Lee on:

• Radish Fiction: Johanna Lee / @JohannaLee
• Twitter: @ILiveWriteNow
• Instagram: @ILiveWriteNow
• Wattpad: @ThoughtsOnPaper



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