Sequels, Prequels, and Sequencing

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One of the things that’s been said about Dave Riggler’s Stories is that the stories in it don’t need to be read in any particular order.  That’s true.  They’re in chronological order  in the book, but they don’t have to be read that way.   I wrote them individually, and they can be read individually.  Personally, I think you gain some context by reading them in sequence, but if you want to do a random-access read, that’s your call.  I just write ’em.

Long-Distance Dedications is shaping up to be much the same way.  You can read them in any order you want, but I think you’ll gain more by reading them in order.  Reading through the stories I’ve written so far, you won’t “miss” anything huge if you read them out of sequence, but I think there’s more to be gained by reading them in sequence.  More even than there is with Dave Riggler’s Stories.  Let me explain.

Long-Distance Dedications, in terms of pages, is already larger than Dave Riggler’s Stories, and not all of the stories have been written yet.  In fact, just three of the stories in Long-Distance Dedications take up more pages than the entire book Dave Riggler’s Stories.  It’s a more expansive universe.  Some of the short stories, then, fit together to tell a larger story.  I’ll give you one example:

 

“Waiting for the Weekend” (working title)

“The Fight”

“Hackettstown”

 

All of these stories have “Lisa”, and camp, in some way, as a common thread.

In a similar way, there are what I call “the Ramapo stories”:

 

“And Ye Shall Be Healed”

“Pledges”

“John, 1:11” (working title)

 

You also have “the Tavia stories” (which I haven’t written as much of yet):

“The Leap Year” or “New Year’s Eve” (I haven’t decided)

“In Concert” (working title)

“Leaving the Union”

 

These all have their own narratives, separate from each other, but they’re interwoven.  That’s why one of my difficulties in writing the book has been how to structure it.  I really want people to read in order, because I think it makes more sense that way, and I think the final story, in particular, makes more sense if you read the others first.

Also in the book will be a sequel, of sorts, to “Last Call”.  One of the questions I get asked most often about my writing (other than the ever-present “Are you Dave?”) is, “Is there going to be a sequel for ‘Last Call’?”  Well, I’m here to say that yes, there will be a sequel to “Last Call”.  Whether it’s the sequel people want is another question.  I like the ambiguity at the end of “Last Call”.  I think that it, along with the moral question, is what makes the story interesting.  Without the ambiguity, Carol(e)’s just some drunk woman at a bar.  So if you’re looking for some easy answers to be provided by the sequel, that’s not gonna happen.  But I will close the loop on the story.   That much I can say.

 

Anyway, stay tuned.  And do consider reading in sequence. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Sequels, Prequels, and Sequencing”

  1. Great! I’m interested to see how the ‘religeous’ thread plays out through AND YE…, PLEDGE, and JOHN1:11. And it will be interesting to see how you close LAST CALL’s loop.

  2. Thanks, Tim! 🙂

    Actually, there are little bits of religion throughout the book, so if you’re into that kind of thing, you might want to watch out for it. I haven’t written much of it yet (or come up with a title) but the sequel to “Last Call” will have some religious/spiritual elements. Two of the characters I’m planning on putting in the story are Christians (one Catholic, one evangelical).

  3. Thanks. 🙂

    I haven’t decided what to call that story yet, although I think I have the first 2/3rds of the structure down. An early title I’ve had is “Kærəl”, but I don’t know how Kindles will deal with that spelling. 🙂

  4. Speaking of Kindle and spelling. I’ve noticed on several occasions the character spelling ‘Carol(e)’ on my Kindle. Is that a formatting error, or am I missing something?

  5. That’s actually related to the same issue, Tim. 🙂

    One of the points I wanted to make — and reinforce — in “Last Call” is that Dave doesn’t know this person. She’s a complete stranger, to the extent that he doesn’t even know how to spell her name. That’s a hard thing to get across in a short story, so I defaulted to Carol(e?) to try and get that across. One of the people who read the story later thought that that was confusing, and that I should use the phonetic spelling. I’m guessing maybe that was correct, since the notation I used made it unclear to you. 🙂

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