July 05, 2020, 10:03:03 PM

Author Topic: Prequel?  (Read 1712 times)

Offline Phoenix

« on: February 11, 2016, 05:24:22 PM »
Would it be appropriate to write a prequel for my fantasy book series? Just wondering
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Offline xiagan

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 06:48:34 PM »
I don't understand the question.
Why should it be not appropriate?

The better question is, if the reader gains something from it. And that's an answer only you can give.
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Offline Adrian_Selby

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Re: Prequel?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 09:19:04 AM »
Is it a great story with characters we'll fall in love with?  It's a yes if you can answer yes to both :)

Offline CryptofCthulhu

Re: Prequel?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 11:11:30 AM »
I plan on writing plenty of one-shot stories that take place prior to the series. I prefer that over spending more time in the series itself talking about the past. If there was some epic battle, palace coup or similar event, I'll take an entire novel focused on it as opposed to paragraphs sprinkled throughout as the only means of talking about it.

The present is made up of a whole lot of choices, wise or otherwise, that happened before. The events in the series occur and are unique because of the past.
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Offline Blackthorn

« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 03:55:14 PM »
If the characters and world from the original are interesting there are a lot of people who will read anything they can get their hands on that provides more background.

I plan on writing several prequels and short stories over my world. Theres no reason to design a whole world and only use a tiny piece

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Offline Lu Kudzoza

Re: Prequel?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2016, 06:35:50 PM »
If the prequel slows down the delivery of books in the series, your readers might not be happy with it. I'd make sure the historical events (and characters) you plan to write about are important enough to your readers that they make up for the delay in the next book in the series.

New Spring by Robert Jordan is an example that worked because the story of Lan and Moiraine meeting was interesting to the Wheel of Time readers.

Offline Yora

Re: Prequel?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2016, 11:45:50 PM »
Just today someone started a discussion about the videogame Resident Evil 0, which led me to wonder if there are actually any prequel stories that really added something to a series in a way that improved it.
And we soon came to the conclusion, that usually these stories only attempt to answer questions we either never wanted to know, or provide banal explanations for things that seemed much more fascinating when then were left obscured.

One of the big reason prequel movies and videogames exist is because it allows the creators to get more money out of a well known brand even after the story has been wrapped up, all the villains killed, and all the problems solved. If you can't continue a story, then adding additional chapters in front of it can still be done.

But generally the stories aren't improved in any way or tell us anything really new. And after all, you already know how everything will turn out. For action movies that are all about spectacle that's not a terribly bad drawback because often the story was already pretty thin to begin with. But books can't really rely on cool action scenes to sell the story to readers. There needs to be some meaty plot or character development to get people to read it.
Which is probably the reason why we see it so rarely attempted with books.
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Offline Blackthorn

« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2016, 12:08:16 AM »
To my mind the only reason a prequel would be worth doing is if it covers more on characters backgrounds.
This only if the characters were originally immersive enough to be worth extra background. True you already know the big picture conclusion, but many readers want to know how it came to that point to begin with.

Really prequels only work well in huge, detailed worlds that have been important throughout the series. Even then they may not be worth doing.
If you want to write more about a world after the first series has been published it makes some sense. Otherwise it would be reasonable to just start the story in the beginning if its worth telling.

I personally like prequels though, if you start your fantasy fascination with the dragonlance chronicles prequels are unavoidable.

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Offline CryptofCthulhu

Re: Prequel?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2016, 01:27:06 PM »
It might not even be necessary to label it a "prequel", even if it does take place before the main story. It could just be another story from that universe that fills in some of the blanks regarding why things in the main story happened merely as a by-product of the telling.
“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” ~ William S. Boroughs