Eildon Rhymer (rhymer23) wrote,
Eildon Rhymer


I just posted a general question about writing sequels over on the writers_lair community. Here are the specifics of my dilemma. Well, actually, there are two dilemmas, but one is rather bigger than the other.

Dilemma no. 1: the small one

Do I write a short epilogue to On the Road to Come What May? That story was told entirely through outsider viewpoints. Through dialogue and body language, and through inference based on our prior knowledge of the characters, the thoughts and feelings of the Atlantis characters was usually fairly clear, but several people have asked for a short epilogue that's entirely from the viewpoint of the main SGA characters. What did they really think about their adventure, and the people they met? Have they been changed by what happened?

Such an epilogue would fill a gap, and quite a few people have asked for it. However, I'm anxious not to undermine the concept of the story. Would such an epilogue weaken the original story? I have actually sketched an idea out already, and the structure is pretty off, since it's a collection of emotional reaction and reflection scenes, without actual plot. On the other hand, it would only be a short story, nothing long enough to risk overshadowing the original. I'm kind of erring towards going for it, but am not entirely convinced.

Dilemma no. 2: the big one

Do I write a full-length sequel to The Pirate's Prisoner - complete with pictures, songs etc., since no sequel would be complete without them. This is a much harder one, since we're talking an entire story, which is definitely long enough to mar memories of the first story, if I mess up. Writing The Pirate's Prisoner was a totally magical experience, and it's also the story that's received the most feedback - and the most enthusiastic feedback - of anything I've ever written. I feel as if the only way I can go from there is down.

(From here on there are spoilers for the The Pirate's Prisoner)
The story is a total AU, so in that respect lends itself quite readily to a "further adventures of" sort of sequel. The story ends with our quartet in place, ready to sail off into the sunset for a lifetime of happy adventures, so the whole world is open to them, ready for stories to happen in.

However, I rather liked the open "they sailed off together into the sunset" ending, and would hate to ruin readers' own imaginings of what that future entailed.

More challenging, I think, is the fact that the main character arcs of the first story had come to a natural conclusion. Central to PP was the outsider viewpoint: Rodney slowly coming to know Captain Sheppard and his crew as friends, and slowly coming to recognise that they weren't the bloodthirsty killers that he thought they were. That's all done now. Rodney has come a long way, and Sheppard's innocence has been proved. Of course, human development is never complete, and there's the possibility of plenty more character arcs ahead of them all, but it's not that character arc. I fear that no sequel will have quite the charm of a story in which Rodney totally misunderstands his new companions, and slowly, slowly thaws towards them.

I also worry that the pictures etc won't have the same charm now they're just "more of the same." Since I stated last time that these were the only known pictures of the characters, the only way I can do more is by having an unknown stash of them found in an attic somewhere, which sounds a bit lame.

However, since late June I've had the germ of an idea for the plot of a sequel, and over the last few days I've been seeing certain incidents very clearly in my mind. Elements of character arcs are falling into place, and I can see some of the pictures. Part of me wants to write it very much indeed, but part of me is terrified of failing. With any other story, I'd probably try it, but that story felt so wonderfully special, that I'm terrified of ruining it.

So I don't know. I just don't know.
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