Last week, when my publisher/editor sent me the edits for ‘Irish Inheritance’, she added this comment: “You also have room for a sequel about Charley or other characters should you choose to go in that direction later on. Just a suggestion...”
To explain, Charley (Charlotte) is the heroine’s best friend in ‘Irish Inheritance’ and (without giving any real spoilers!), she ends up living in Ireland with her boyfriend (someone she met during the course of the story)
My first reaction was, “I’ll think about that later.”
Then I thought about it some more.
I’ve been writing and rewriting my current ‘work in progress’ more times than I can count. Every time I get to about 50,000 words, I have a gut feeling that this story isn’t working, there’s something missing, it’s dragging, there’s not enough tension…
So what would happen if Charley became the heroine of this story? What if I moved the location from the English Lake District to Ireland?
I started rewriting (again!). After some deliberation, I chose a location somewhere on the County Galway/Mayo border that I’ve visited two or three times. It was reasonably easy to make the changes, and the first couple of chapters seemed to be working well. With characters’ names changed to more Irish-sounding names, the ‘old’ story slotted easily into its new location, and I even had a new idea about an intrigue that might add more tension.
At this point (i.e. now!) it dawned on me that new story isn’t really a ‘sequel’ to ‘Irish Inheritance’. I was just using one of the secondary characters in her own story, with very few links to the first story.
Does that mean it’s a spin-off, rather than a sequel – or is it the second in a series? I’ll be interested to know how you would define these three terms.
Your answers will help me to decide where to take Charley's story!