Friday, July 26, 2013

SHOULD YOU WRITE A PREQUEL?

by Teresa Slack

We’ve all anxiously awaited the release of a sequel to our favorite movie or book. But have you ever read a pre-quel? Have you ever wanted to? By name alone, you can figure out what a prequel is even if you’ve never read one. A pre-quel is a story told after the fact about how it all started with your favorite characters or setting. As a shameless lover of back story, a prequel is a fascinating concept for me. I love, love, love knowing how it all started, where it began, what actions set in motion the story that captured my imagination and created characters that live on in my heart.

George Lucas made piles of money to heap upon his other piles of money with his Star Wars Prequels. While they may not have received rave reviews from critics, they appealed to a certain demographic—like me—who love knowing what happened before the real story happened.

The rise in popularity of prequels, especially in the thriller or fantasy genre but certainly not limited to those, got me thinking about my own prequel possibilities.

I think most book series have the potential for the writer to capitalize on a prequel. My Jenna’s Creek series of novels has a loyal fan base who have expressed interest in a prequel. I would certainly enjoy writing one. I’ve added that project to an already long list of books to write if the Lord gives me enough time in front of my computer.

Let us know what you think. What book or series do you believe deserves a prequel? Have you ever read one and what did you think? Are you in the “enough already” crowd who thinks writers should move on to new material? Or are you aching to see more of your most beloved characters?
 


Teresa Slack

4 comments:

gretchenekengel said...

I read Julie Lessman's "A Light In The Window." I loved getting the love story of the patriarch and matriarch of her Daughters of Boston.

Elizabeth said...

Whether or not a prequel to a series of books, movies or even television program has value seems to depend on how the story has unfolded so far. Some writers integrate past information naturally within the existing story so a prequel seems unnecessary. If a back story is never addressed, but only hinted at, perhaps a prequel would be an interesting addition.

Teresa Slack said...

Thanks for writing. I've read several by Julie Lessman but not this one. Someone mentioned knowing the outcome of a book when reading a prequel. We can typically guess the outcome anyway depending on the genre--romance, especially. Or the author--Nicholas Sparks (somebody's gonna die). If the author has created a compelling enough story, a prequel isn't necessary. On the other hand, a compelling story might be just the reason for a prequel.

P.S. I'm still not sure which way I'll go.

Molly Noble Bull said...

How interesting. I'm a back-story fan. But it has to handled carefully.
I'm not sure how I feel about prequels, but this article gave me something to think about.
Love

Molly