Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#IWSG: Prequels

It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting. IWSG was created by the awesome ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can find out the other members of the group here.
When is the best time to release a prequel of a series?

You see, I have a few prequels to go along with some series. With The Fate Challenges, I released a short story prequel (Magna's Plea) before the novels. I also have a novel-length prequel (Reigned) that will come out after book two of The Fate Challenges trilogy.

But next year I plan to start writing a new trilogy (The God Challenges), one that will take place within The Fate Challenges' world but 2500 years later. This trilogy also has a prequel that takes place 2000 years after The Fate Challenges and sets up why the world changed so much from The Fate Challenges to The God Challenges. I don't know when to start writing it, though. Do I write and release it before book one of The God Challenges comes out or after book one ... or even after book two? When do you like to read a prequel?

Any advice would be appreciated.





 

Although I'm not participating in A-Z on this blog, we authors at Untethered Realms are talking about fantastical creatures. Be sure to stop by!

28 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, that's ambitious.
Either way works. Do the trilogy, then release the prequel, or vice versa. Prequel might be good for sparking interest in the trilogy though.

Tracy Terry said...

As Alex says wow, ambitious.

Interested to know how this works as though its not uncommon for me to read a series out of sequence I don't ever think I've read a prequel.

Good luck, I'm sure whichever way you choose to do it will prove popular.

Julie Flanders said...

I agree with Alex, I would think the prequel would be great for generating buzz for the trilogy.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I agree with Alex, complete the trilogy and then release the prequel.

Christine Rains said...

Hmmm, that's a good question. Between the two trilogies is my vote.

River Fairchild said...

Excellent question which I'd like to know the answer to as well. I'm writing a prequel right now to release after Book 2 out of 5, but it wasn't planned. If I'd planned it, I might have written it first, for the buzz. I'd love to know what readers have to say. The only one I can think of right off-hand is the Dragonriders of Pern. The prequel which took place long before the others and explained how it all started is actually listed as book 3 (if I remember correctly) yet anytime I re-read the series I ALWAYS start with that one. My personal preference is to read them in the proper time order of events.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I think Alex is right...

First, CONGRATS and you are amazing Rachel. This is some feat.. all the best!

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree with Alex's ambitious remark. Color me impressed (as always).

And I'd vote for between the two trilogies.

Carrie-Anne said...

I think it varies from project to project. Some people wait till the end of a series to write a prequel, while others are put out midway through. I think I'm going to write the two prequels in my Russian family saga after the fifth book proper, and then write the last few books in the saga.

Kyra Lennon said...

I'm probably not a good person to ask about this because generally, I'm not a massive fan of prequels. But, if they are important to your story, I'd say release them when they make most sense to you. If that's at the end of a series, cool. If it's somewhere in the middle, that's okay too!

jaybird said...

Honestly, when I'm super into a serious, I'm excited to get my hands on the pre-quel anytime. It just makes me happy to still get to read and get a peek into that world. But that might just be me, and I don't stand on ceremony when it comes to proper order. Or etiquette. Or anything with rules. LOL

Catherine Stine said...

Maybe after book one??

Editors At Work said...

Just before the first book. It will hook readers interest.

Nas

M Pax said...

I'd say that prequels make a lot of people run the other way, so if you can release it first, that'd probably work. Although, releasing it later, and probably most people's introduction should work too. I found freebie then money book shortly thereafter to be a successful formula.

Donna B. McNicol said...

I don't think there is a right or wrong way. Just keep plugging away!

Medeia Sharif said...

I like to read prequels after a story or two because I'm invested in the characters and their world and want to know more of what happened before.

Cathy Keaton said...

Hmm.... All I know is that I only read prequels after reading their corresponding main series. I need to have already become invested in the author's main books before I bother with a prequel.

In my experience, the prequels are rarely as good as the main series, but that's just my reasoning. I don't mean this will apply to you!

Donna Hole said...

I see a prequel like a prologue; it should only give info that isn't repeated in the novel. It should set it up, but not be a duplicate story.

Like with The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein. The story did not rehash the LOTR series, but added explanation and depth to a story that happened years later, but was connected.

Well, I think prequels can be viable stories on their own, but should supplement a later story. Ya know? I don't think I'm saying this correctly.

.....dhole

E.J. Wesley said...

I've never tackled a prequel, but I can see the challenges involved. Getting the tone right, connecting the plot dots JUST enough, etc.

Heather Holden said...

I honestly can't remember if I've ever read a prequel, but it always seems like they're released after a series has been released, or at least during. There probably isn't a right or wrong way to go about this, though, so you should do whatever you feel is best! Also, good luck! I think it's so, so impressive that you're able to write for a world fleshed-out enough to merit prequels and the like...

So many books, so little time said...

To be honest, I like to read a story first. Get to know the characters and then read about their past. By that point you know and either care about them or hate them. If you release the earlier life first then the first in the series is actually just like a book two if that makes sense.

I have often reviewed books then contacted authors and said I think it would be amazing to know more about your X character. That is just my own personal view. Good luck with it.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

DMS said...

Honestly- I love prequels whenever they come out. It is fun to get to know a character (or characters) and then go back and find out more. It sounds like a challenging process! Best of luck! :)
Jess

Trisha F said...

Hey Cherie - just want to say I just finished reading REBORN, and loved it. Now I want book 2, thanks very much. ;)

And that's pretty exciting to think of how the world might've changed 2500 yrs after what I just read. I'll definitely check those out too when they're around.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I agree that the prequel should come first. You Amaze me Cherie. Since I'm a total pantser, I can't think in advance on a story, especially about a trilogy.

Milo James Fowler said...

I like how Hugh Howey structured WOOL's prequel SHIFT, released after the first book. I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much without reading WOOL first, even though SHIFT's events take place much earlier.

Mark Murata said...

It can depend on how much your writing style has changed. If you notice it changing, you might want to get the prequel out sooner than later.

Kelly Steel said...

I agree with the above comments. Prequel should hit readers for them to get hooked in your story!

Rachel Morgan said...

This doesn't help at all, but I think either way works! If I haven't read any of a series yet, then I'll go for the prequel first because I like to do things chronologically ;-) But if I've already read the series and loved it, then if a prequel comes out afterwards, I DEFINITELY want to read it!