Saturday, February 28, 2009


Today was a beautiful April day, and my neighbors were complaining about how bad the weather was -- oh my gosh, clouds in the sky. The fact that it is still February is not lost on me. I'm sort of amazed. I feel like I'm halfway through spring quarter already, and winter quarter isn't even over. It's pretty wonderful that a warm Saturday sitting outside and reading a new book (Last Watch; so happy it's out, so sad the series will be over) can make everything -- absolutely everything -- feel happy. Even a book about (possibly?) Armageddon.

I got to thinking, however, about my NaNoWriMo piece. It's fairly interesting, because I feel like I have too many characters that aren't important enough. In many instances this is a small deal and fixable (swapping out one new character for a reappearance of an old character, for example), but it's somewhat interesting to me because one of the main characters in this story is entirely new, which doesn't jive so much with it being a sequel and all. Of course, I like the character too much to do away with him entirely, but it got me to thinking, and my sense is that in order for the later story to flow the way I want it to, I need to edit the earlier story to make it more sequel-able. Since when writing the first one I was not thinking "You know what this needs? A sequel."

A good example that everyone knows about -- in book one of Harry Potter, Hagrid borrows Sirius Black's motorbike. It's a throwaway reference that no one pays attention to, and doesn't stand out particularly, but it introduces at least a name so that when Sirius becomes a main character in book 3, readers aren't up in arms saying "If Sirius was James' best friend, where was he the night that James died?" The character isn't really developed until book 3, but he exists in the world as of book 1. (Of course, Remus and Peter aren't mentioned, but the fact that one of them was makes the other two more believable, somehow; mentioning all three would have been overdoing it.)

My problem is that, since I first set out to only write one story, those references are conspicuously absent. I don't mention a character just for kicks, or on the off-chance that I would be writing a sequel. Most of the new characters in the piece I wrote in November I hadn't even thought of when I was writing the first story. So there are characters that logically should have been present in some of the events I describe in the first story, and aren't mentioned. Places and things that should have made an appearance, and didn't. Because I hadn't thought of them. Nothing contradictory, necessarily, but just strange -- the long lost brother or sister who is never mentioned until he conspicuously shows up. So I want to rewrite the first one, to add those elements -- nothing big, but enough to make it not seem strange that I'm bringing up these characters, places, and things in the second one. Also maybe change some names (that's a separate issue). But I know that I don't have the time to make the second one readable and the first one better at the same time. (I barely have enough time to get the second one readable on any sort of schedule). So I'm just sort of puzzling about what to do. The obvious solution, of course, being to go back and change the first one when I'm through with the second one. Which I might do. We'll see.

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