This is on my mind because tomorrow is the start of National Write a Novel Month. I have decided to go with doing the second Calvin Hobbs book, Bodies Under 95. A sequel to a story that I wrote last year that isn't out yet. I have planned sequels studied them, and now that it is almost time to start writing one I am petrified to do it.
I ask myself will I be able to get back in Hobbs head space, will I be able to tell another story that doesn't trample on the original, can I produce something that is equal if not better? I'm aiming for The Empire Strikes Back, I'm just afraid I'll get Batman and Robin instead. A bit of fear is good before embarking on any project, it keeps you focused and honest. Usually though the fear has been that I wouldn't finish, not that I would write something that would basically shit on something I had written before.
Why do most sequels suck? I think it has to do with a combination of trying to change the characters that we all love, and maybe trying to hard to explain the first entry, or bring every single side character back. I think I can avoid most of those pitfalls, but still I'm scared.
It is a nedulus fear that I just can't seem to quantify in words, but I figure most people who have expereanced bad sequels will understand.
I'll keep you up to date of how I feel about this project as November progresses, and if I feel like I have written Godfather II or Godfather III.
What will be the fate of what comes after?
As a PS with National Write a Novel Month coming, I made a guest post on it at http://ashmp.wordpress.com/ which should be live on the 3ed. I'll keep you updated.