Presequels

Shamrock

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May 28, 2019
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Here is (hopefully) a less contentious topic of discussion.

How many of you have written a whole backstories of characters to help plan a book?

I realised that I have done this for both The Sphinx series and Blossom Hill series. Both backstories have ended up as whole book plot outlines. I have yet to write either, but it got me thinking about whether I should write them out at some point. Both were set in past times with events that impacted upon the story spanned over each trilogy.
 

InkwellandQuill

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May 19, 2021
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How many of you have written a whole backstories of characters to help plan a book?
I have! I'm actually working on one now...Which is slightly strange, seeing as the actual book it came off of is still waiting to be written...But I'm still trying to figure out some major plotting/character problems with the main story, so, that one's on the back burner and this one's getting written.
 

Shamrock

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May 28, 2019
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Thank @InkwellandQuill . That interesting.

I am trying to decide whether the plot outline for BH should be the 1st book (in which case I should get down to writing it) or to stick with the 2nd book as the 1st and now get on with the 3rd installment (the 2nd is drafted). Just the small matter that I haven't written the plot outline for book 3.
 

HK1

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Oct 1, 2018
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Both backstories have ended up as whole book plot outlines. I have yet to write either, but it got me thinking about whether I should write them out at some point. Both were set in past times with events that impacted upon the story spanned over each trilogy.
I haven't done this yet, but I can think of at least one book I've read that was like this. I think it's a cool idea!
 

Shamrock

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May 28, 2019
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Thanks everyone. I think I will go for writing the BH presequel and make it bk1 of the series. I can always keep working on the plot for bk 4.

It has just occurred to me this will be my 6th novel since late 2019
 

FeatherPen

Active member
May 8, 2022
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I do a character worksheet that is pretty extensive but not to plot a book. I use it when I fail to move my novel along because a lot of times I don’t know the character well enough to know what they would do in a given situation

My fear of doing a prequel would be in wanting to use it for a book and it really not being worthy. I can really fall into the trap of falling in love with my own words. I would fear doing that
 

The Lamp Keeper

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Jun 17, 2022
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I have at least two prequels, maybe as many as four or five. I didn't realize I had that much story until I started writing. I honestly don't know whether to go ahead and publish this first novel or hold off on it until I get the others done.
 

Johne

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2005
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How many of you have written a whole backstories of characters to help plan a book?
Roger Zelazny used to write short stories to nail down his characters, setting, and so forth, never intending to publish them. His agent later collected those stories and sold them (she was a good agent). And so you have a Madwand short story and novel, and you can see how the tight focus of the short story was expanded out into a multi-novel series.
 

Shamrock

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May 28, 2019
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Thanks Johne

Still in a quandary about this but for a different reason.

Hannah and Ruth are present day stories with Ruth following on from Hannah. The prequel is a duel time plot set in the 70s and 90s. Before either other others. Like Ruth it has two POVs while Hannah has only one.

The follow on from Ruth (which for ease I will can 'Evan') would pick up from Ruth so be present day and probably have two POVs. The presequel sets up the story that runs through both the other books and is tied up in Ruth. I could get away without it I think.

Whilst I like the prequal I do wonder if it might be too different from the other two whereas Evan would follow on keeping everything present day and continuous.

The only problem is I have yet to write the plot for it which is proving a challenge. I have ideas and a theme but have not nailed down the conflict or want/need.

Any thoughts?
 
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