Authors' Serials and the Option of Sequeling

slapdashmonuments

Inspiration hits with a flash, stories written on the go. A rumble of laughter and the tale is heard only in echoes. The wind blows me in a new direction. Whom shall I visit next?


I was thinking about series that are already in motion by a specific writer, such as the one I'm toiling on, the Legend of Tory Adore, which is finally developing a plot of sorts.

Of course, the options to write a sequel or prequel still are offered for all these entries; however, it appears that most readers feel that in such cases, the author of the series commands some respect to continue their own story without alternatives or distractions.

Perhaps the option could exist to turn off sequel and prequel-making at the author's option, or else, sequels and prequels could still be offered and indeed written, with the tacit understanding that they are not meant to derail the author's versions. Maybe an "AU sequel".

If people wanted to write sequels to my series, I'd be willing, but would likely want to retain the choice: to continue from the other writer's instalment, or else to forge ahead with my own story line, regarding the other stories as alternates. Anyone have any feeling about this?


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Comments (13 so far!)

slapdashmonuments

slapdashmonuments

Here's an alternate way to express the above: I'm tempted to write some sequels to ongoing stories, but social anxiety and simple courtesy seem to combine to tell me it might be rude of me.

  • #942 Posted 6 years ago
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HSAR

HSAR

I don't remember any consensus on our predecessor, Ficly, either. However, since a story can have any number of sequels/prequels there's no harm to it.

Generally speaking, I like to contact an author privately unless the series is early in its cycle - unfortunately, not an option right now. Otherwise I fear that the original author will just ignore my contribution and it will be a sad dead-end branch. And as the series author I fear the same.

  • #944 Posted 6 years ago
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ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

Until such time as private messages become available, perhaps we could tag our stories "sequeling welcome" or "open for co-writers" just to be polite. Perhaps personal information could then be exchanged in a comment and partnerships built.

  • #948 Posted 6 years ago
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wolframdioxide

wolframdioxide

I think the AU sequel idea sounds like a good one, as does the tagging one.

Consider all of my stories open to sequeling. That said, I won't do the same to others without express permission. I have considered it (writing sequels to others' stories) already, but haven't had any good ideas. I may do some in the future.

Also, who wants to (metaphorically) bet that there will be a sequel to this written by somebody else? (No-one, because if anyone did that, I could write one myself, and that would be wrong.)

  • #952 Posted 6 years ago
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slapdashmonuments

slapdashmonuments

I agree with all of this. It's a matter of "just because you CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD." It's interesting, though, since it is one of the very most basic potentialities of this site and Ficly. Also, I guess a post like this and its discussion section are mostly to be seen by the regulars. Well, I'll state that I don't mind sequels and prequels to my writing, it could turn into a team effort or side track, and either way it seems like not a bad thing. So that's my own baseline, here and also at my "aslargeasalone" account. But further, if I especially want to request or encourage 'quels' I'll tag it "co-writers welcome" (to vary Elsha's tags, perdoname) or something even plainer, like "Feel free to Quel." And if I want to keep a story series to myself I'll tag it "Please don't quel." This seems like one of the few sites that actively uses sequels and prequels and a 'proprietary' nickname for them might just feel sort of cozy. Anything to quell our thirst for creativity!

  • #954 Posted 6 years ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

It's posts like this that makes me wish we had a native (and lightweight) discussion board built into the site.

I've always assumed all stories are open to sequels/prequels. It's just really, really rare to see multiple branches off a story and it seems to be less common than it was for authors to tag-team a storyline. I don't know if that's due to the smaller population since Ficly closed its doors or to some other factor, though.

  • #975 Posted 6 years ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

As HSAR mentioned, Ficly encouraged everyone to write sequels and prequels to everything. Implicit in that is the fact that an author's own sequel should be considered "canonical" for any given story. I am reluctant to allow the option to disable sequels, as this will challenge one of the original premises of Ficlets.

At some point, I do intend to add some kind of graphing function to make following a multi-parter more easy. I could incorporate the option for the person who wrote the first episode (the "owner" of the arc) to define a canon.

Interesting thoughts.

  • #980 Posted 6 years ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

And I do have private messages and a lightweight forum at the back of my mind somewhere. Good suggestions.

  • #981 Posted 6 years ago
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HSAR

HSAR

I agree with Jim that sometimes, comments aren't enough. However, I'm not so sure that a forum is the right way to go. It just seems so... serious.

  • #983 Posted 6 years ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

I've also thought, as an alternative to a forum, that allowing authors to have their own mini-blog section could be an effective way at sharing non-story type thoughts, too. Incorporating that into the flow of information on the site, though, so that new content like that doesn't slip under the radar could toe the line toward information overload. There's pros and cons to everything.

  • #991 Posted 6 years ago
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HSAR

HSAR

Whatever it is, I would need some way to see current activity via the news feed. Having too many places to check for activity is a sure sign that I will forget at least one of them.

  • #1012 Posted 6 years ago
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EloquentMess

EloquentMess

Why not make the "official" sequel sticky, and all the unofficial sequels are listed below the official one?

  • #1033 Posted 6 years ago
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slapdashmonuments

slapdashmonuments

@EloquentMess That sounds like a very sound idea to me!

  • #1038 Posted 6 years ago
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