“So once we find someone who plays bass we could actually start playing.”
“Make sure he’s cute.”
Finding a quote for today's post was rather difficult. When I first wrote Uneven Lines, I had zero intention of writing any sequels. It was always a stand alone book in my mind. Consequently, there aren't really any lines in it that hint at a sequel. The line about finding a bass player for Jordan and Eric's band was just supposed to be a joke. I had no idea that person would a) eventually exist, b) actually be a love interest for Jordan, or c) turn out to be a "certified cutie" (possible Book 2 description). Or that he would bother me relentlessly about the sequels when they weren't even supposed to exist in the first place!
But let's rewind. At what point to you decide to write a sequel to a story? I guess it's probably different for every writer, for every story, even. You may know a particular story needs to be a trilogy before you even begin writing it. For me, that was never the case. I just came up with a story and I wrote it. It was never supposed to be anything else. But then the main character decided to attach himself to my brain. I started thinking about what would happen to him after the story ended. It wasn't always terribly interesting; most of these brainstorms were just for fun. But eventually an idea for a second book started to form in my mind. I was considering things that I never thought I would when I was writing the first book, characters whose existence was never even mentioned, but would actually be so important in Jordan's life. So I had Book 2. Well, an idea, at least.
My hesitation for writing Book 2 was mostly based on the fact that I had no idea when or if this series would end. Should I just keep writing Jordan's stories for the rest of my life? Or was there a place to cut it off? I didn't want to start Book 2 without some sort of endgame in mind. And at the very least, I knew UL could stand on its own without any sequels.
But then suddenly I had an idea for Book 3 , and I totally blame Adam, the aforementioned cute bass player. He's the one who threw the ideas at me and they stuck. Which, interestingly enough, is exactly what Jordan did to me with the first book. My characters tend to control things more than I do. The thing about Book 3, though, is that it would completely tie up the series. Instead of having no end in mind, suddenly I had a trilogy. It seemed perfect and yet daunting at the same time.
I worry about how people will react to the sequels. If they think the first book is good, will they think the sequels are as good? I certainly think the sequels will have a different tone than the first book. Jordan is fifteen in UL, but he'll be twenty in Book 2 and twenty-two in Book 3. I think Book 2 goes to some very dark places, whereas Book 3 does the opposite, there's a lot of happy fluffiness. Do all these books actually fit together? Will anyone even care to read them? Will they wish I had just left the first book alone?
I can't really worry about the sequels too much without getting the first book done. I know I want to write these books for me, and I will. I know I want to publish UL, but I'm not so sure about the sequels yet. I guess I'll have to write them first and see how they turn out.
Should I write the sequels to Uneven Lines? When do you decide to write sequels to your stories?