Money raised: $3,430 of $5,500
Number of supporters: 26
Nervous breakdowns: 42
Number of best sellers released by Steven King since last update: 7
Days remaining: 4
Previous week’s stats here.
Since we haven’t come to the conclusion of the funding campaign just yet, I’d like to hold off on any reflection as of yet. Granted, we only have four days left but you never know…
But let’s talk about sequels. I remember vividly telling my publicist, Ally, that I was “above” sequels, and since I was a true “artist,” I would never do one. Joseph Conrad didn’t write Lord Jim part 2: Jim Harder now, did he? I would know…because I so would have read that. I was on a Skype conference when I told Ally this. She nodded, checked her nails with an “uh-huh,” and then proceeded to change the subject to how much my dialogue tags suck.
Some months passed, I completed the first draft of Trampling in the Land of Woe, and I got to thinking. My setting was radical and distinct, but the mechanics of this novel’s world were still concrete. There were so many characters that my narrative brushed up against and left behind. It was for the sake of pacing and thematic focus, but I could still detect mountains of stories within my newly forged world. This novel focused on Hephaestion, but what other historical figures could I explore in a steampunk afterlife?
The idea of making sequels to Trampling started to take root, but I was still reluctant. Would my second installment be a hollow shell of the first outing? Would I turn into Robert Jordan and write bland sequels until my death without providing closure? Would it be like The Walking Dead, an endless tale of aimless misery without any intended resolution? And if miracle-of-miracles occurs and this novel becomes popular, would someone ELSE write my sequel long after I’m gone like the abysmal sequels to Wuthering Heights?
The final nail in the coffin for me was a memoir I was reading that mentioned an anecdote from Francis Ford Coppola. He was having dinner, and a young, new director he was dining with felt the same as me on the matter of sequels. Coppola retorted that he was excited to do a sequel to his most recent film because while filming the first one, he kept getting great ideas for the second.
With that in mind, and loving all three of those films TREMENDOUSLY, I cemented my desire for doing sequels to Trampling in the Land of Woe. I figured I would do three books total, and I would retool the first book with the end of the third book in mind as three novel-long arc. While each novel would follow a different character’s perspective, the overall arc will be about humanity finding its place in the afterlife despite a post-humanist mindset trickling down from the waking Earth. I found this amazingly appealing, and the fact that I have made a point to write myself into a corner by the end of the third novel to close off any possibilities of drinking the creative well dry.
So keep a look out for Trampling in the Land of Woe for certain, but on its heels will be Sparks from a Cruel Grindstone and lastly The Patron Saints of Wrong.