Anyone who knows us, knows we love to digress. So we are looking to our splendid readers to keep us on the proper path[s]. Here’s the deal: in the series there are both secondary characters and events that take place outside the main arc of the series that have stories we think would be fun to tell. In particular, some of our secondary characters have personal histories worth writing about. So our question is: are these things you would like to read?
If so, when? Should we complete this arc of the main series first, before we indulge our urge to digress? Or would it be entertaining to release some of these potential new works while we are still writing this arc of the main series?
Clearly this is just a generic question at this time, so we understand that definitive answers are not possible, and any such works would not be scheduled to appear later until after the next couple of books are released. Also, these stories might be told as novels, novellas, or perhaps even short stories.
Finally, if you find the idea of stories filling in the personal histories of our characters interesting, do you have particular characters you’d like to read more about?
Are there “off-camera” events mentioned in the series you would like to see written more about?
Sound off in the comments, or if you prefer to discuss this directly, say so and we’ll exchange emails.
Thanks again for all your support and invaluable feedback!
I’ve gotten to like the way several authors I read put out Novellas in between major release dates that either show major plots from another perspective or fill in some character details. I’m not a fan of individual short stories–those just often seem like a character studies that don’t really build to anything. That being said, a couple authors who I follow have started releasing collections of short stories. While each one may not stand well on its own, together in a book they can form an interesting arch for the main story.
We actually have a novella (or short novel) in the works to fill in a significant plot element. It’s being a bit of a race to see which gets completed first: it or the fourth book . 🙂
I am personally of the opinion that spin-off series (and books) are almost never a good idea.
Even in my favorite series, like Honor Harrington, where the spin-off are quite good, I would much rather read another book in the main series than a spin-off.
That doesn’t mean I am not reading and enjoying the spin-off series, but I always wish that there were just more books in the main series instead.
Now, novellas and short-stories is completely different. I enjoy reading those between books. They fill in more information, backstory, interesting stories that highlight the scenario but doesn’t fit in the main story.
So my advice would be: go for short-stories and novellas if you have interesting tales to tell that don’t fit in the main story, but novels or a spin-off series? Wait until the main series is done.
Thanks for the input! We have been thinking about some short stories, in particular. We are dubious about charging for them, however, and might prefer to post them on this blog for free, but that might present an issue with getting them visibility.
How have you found short stories? On Amazon or another outlet? (Smashwords?) Or through blogs or mailing lists?
Joe & Shane:
Thanks for the input! First, we can safely say that there won’t another book in this arc like Wogan’s Reef. As for the rest (mainly Mariwen), just you wait. 😉
Now thast i think about it,I’d like a prequill or two.. I’d like to know about here time as a slave from when trench first picked her up to when she finnaly killed him ,how she became number one, and how she kept it.. Maybe an adventure or two along the way ( with out trench nowing of coarse).
Personally I wish the story had even more Kris POV time than it already has. I’m rarely interested in reading a more distributed POV where the second characters have as much if not more ‘screen time’ than the MC has. I never was able to get into Game of Thrones and other similar styles because of that. I would however like more Mariwen… or at least have more of a future in the plot for her. What I think is fine though is like novella length side stories where the secondary characters are the main characters imo.
I’d like to see more of Mariwen, In the first book she was really getting along with Kris and then nothing.. I’d like to know how she got where she got( sounds competitive)And i think she really needs to be in kris’s life..In the first book kris had said she felt very comfortable with her.Well that’s my .02c
Hi Owen & Jordan,
I thought I would toss a couple of pennies into the well and see what they bring. I’m one of the readers who only like to read prequels and secondary arc stories after the main series is completed, a personality trait that I’m sure others like me reveal in their daily lives. Once finished with the main arc though, it can be an excellent way to touch base with characters and stories that captured the imagination but had reached their end. I’m one of those sappy people who like to get a little follow up on the happily ever after endings, even though they were happily ever after. Those little blurbs at the end of the movie Animal House that described what happens to the characters later in life are a good example.
Secondary characters…the strongest one would be Minerva, something I touched on in my review. Loved her and while some might think it didn’t fit the scifi theme, loved the poem. Trin and Nick are characters who would do well in a series of short stories, but Minerva is a character who obviously resonates with either one or both of you. After Kris’s story is complete, I would truly enjoy a story arc that follows Minerva’s life, pre- and post Kris.
Minerva has apparently struck a chord with a number of readers, based on the comments we’ve received. Yes, we are personally quite fond of her. We do think the period between the wars, when she was younger, is a rich vein to be explored. We’ve pretty much decided to do that.
We are exploring the possibilities offered by some short stories also. Those might enhance things in a number of ways.
Thanks for all the great feedback, everyone!
These comments have been very enlightening. We are certainly getting some ideas here.
I think that with Loralynn being sent out that the viewpoints of others should be shown to illustrate what is happening throughout space. Persons of interest: Sabr and his wife (maybe a spinoff around them), Minerva Lewis, Rafael Huron, Jakob Adenauer, and Mariwen and her brother. Each book should have no more then 2 main viewpoints and 3-5 secondary perspective viewpoints. 2/3 thirds or more of main character POVs. The rest secondary. Your books so far do a good job of balancing POVs and Creating tension and plot flow/tempo.
The biggest factor is going to be you, as the author. If your muse has a way it wants to go, then follow it and not any of our advice. However, I have found that having a choice of characters allows me to follow the muse and write around blocks by switching to a character that is not stale. Good luck.
I personally enjoy offshoots and deeper stories into the otherwise minor character’s lives. Whether they’re prequels or entirely different adventures, it wouldn’t matter to me. It all depends on how exciting their personal quests are.
I would really like to read more about Nick. I’m sure there is more than one grand adventure in his very long and colorful life. Fred Yu is another one. He is a fascinating character in his own right.
And may I be the third to mention Capt Coward?
Generally I’ve not enjoyed offshoots as much as the main arc. Some do a pretty good job and flesh out the story but some (at least to me) just delay the overall plot. Sometimes i think it’s the authors trying for a cash grab but sometimes I think it’s just they need a break from writing about the same people.
I do prefer offshoots that flesh out the story to prequels. I’m not a big fan of prequels. I often can’t get interested in them as much.
I liked Patricia Briggs offshoot and some of David Webbers (but I got rather annoyed over time with his. The books are coming out too slowly). I generally don’t like the collection of short stories offshoots too much.
Personally, there hasn’t been that many characters that I really felt I needed more background on.
Thanks Nick! Always nice to hear from you. 🙂
Are there any characters at all you’re curious to know more about?
I liked the Marine. It sounds like she’s got some interesting stories from between the wars maybe…
I like Trin but I can’t really see the excitement there.
I like the Hanth Admiral with his “letters” home but again I’m not sure how much story is there. Maybe a short of how he avoids falling on his sword?
That captain…. I can’t remember his name… coward? Or something like that? If you wanted something more random.
We’ve gotten interest in Minerva Lewis (the Marine) from several readers. And you are the second person to mention Capt. Coward. Certainly food for thought. 🙂
Anything that keeps the creative juices flowing is a good thing. If that means short story digressions, I’ll be happy to read them.
We appreciate the feedback!
It is true that sometimes things get stuck, and going off on a little tangent can be just what’s needed to bust things loose. (We don’t want to get carried way though.)
I was going to ask you about Mankho, and if he becomes a bigger part in the series. If not, a one off of him could be interesting.
Thanks Charles. Might be something to talk more about.