I never expected to like writing sequels. I’ve never been a reader of series, and have been almost against them all together until this point. I tended to like the finality of a book, and close the door. However, when I finished my latest project, my characters wouldn’t shut up. They’d habitually wake me up at 3 a.m. just to hear themselves talk. The accents, the wit, the condescension…They. Would. Not. Hush.
“Shut up. I haven’t even published your first novel, yet. Leave me alone,” I’d scoff, flipping my pillow to the cold side.
“We’re not interested in your excuses or business. We’re here to talk, so write,” they’d reply.
A writer knows, you’re never in the driver’s seat. If the gremlins that run the show in the creative side of your mind say go, you go. You don’t sleep, you don’t silence them, you don’t put them off. You open up the lap top and start dancing. And 5, 6,7, 8….
Here’s what I learned from my gremlins as of late…First, don’t declare things like ‘I don’t write sequels.’ Never say never to the creative process. Second is, it turns out I like sequels afterall (as long as they’re organic). I’ve written about and spoken about, on many occasions how nostalgia is one of my favorite emotions to prance about in. There is nothing more eery, or more deliciously satisfying than a familiar fingertip from yesteryear reaching out to stroke your shoulder again. That half happy, half sad, partly close, partly unreachable place is where romance and magic live year round. When we visit on holidays, we consider staying to find that we simply cannot. My sequel, a whopping 30 years into the future is giving me a chance to wallow a little. Thanks, Gremlins.
The moral of this post is that we have to remember that we don’t create the stories. They’re in there, and they just use us to get out. If we hold them in, we may miss our moments to get the glory from their tales. And, oh, don’t we want that.