One thing leads to another.

And it has also led me to contemplate doing something that I swore I’d never do.

Any excuse for some music from the 80s, it’s a crazy video but an addictive song.

First of all, a bit of background.

Way back in 1979 (I know, it’s practically prehistoric), I had an idea for a story.

I actually finished writing it in 2013!

Was I using my feet to type? No, I was just having a life, I put it to the back of my mind while I got on with other things. I guess you could say that the book didn’t arrive until it was ready. It was a tale of love, loss and loneliness, oh and a galaxy-wide conspiracy as well. The hero, Dave Travise, was a complicated man, with a past which I hinted at and a future that could not be guaranteed, especially if he carried on as he was.

Anyhow, that’s not the main point of this post.

When I started to get feedback, I found that the book, Freefall, had raised a lot of questions with readers, who wanted to know what happened next, or even before. In the end, I could see that more books were needed to give some answers.

So I wrote Myra, which was effectively a prequel. Which got us up to the point where Freefall began, sort of. There was still a fifteen-year gap between the two stories but it all lined up and made sense. It also explained a lot about why Dave was like he was. I thought that the gap might be a useful void into which I could add adventures, should I think of any. A bit like Asimov did with the Foundation series.

Next, I started to tackle the times after Freefall ended, the consequences of the things that Dave had done in both books were the basis for the sequel Promise Me. It was written and is now being edited.

I thought that would be the end of Dave’s story, however…,

There are still enough unresolved issues to write a fourth part of the story. I blame Dave himself. His life seems to consist of perpetual fire-fighting his ongoing issues. He’s forever racing around the galaxy trying to stay alive with several things going on at once. As it takes the best part of a book to fix one thing, I guess it always leaves at least one unresolved. In fact, he’s a perfect muse for a writer. Who knows where his adventures will end?

As for the thing I swore I’d never do?

I was trying to decide whether a boxset of the three Dave Travise novels would be a good idea. My editor suggested that, if I was intending to produce one, I should check the styling for compatibility across the three stories that I’d finished so far.

When I started to do that, I could see how my writing has developed since I wrote Freefall, there is quite a bit of back story at the start of that story that doesn’t really match the way the other stories are constructed.

I always said that I’d never change Freefall, it was my first novel and I’m proud of the fact that I’d actually managed to write it. Especially as I (and several others) never thought that I would. Not only that, in reviews, nobody has ever made an issue of this particular passage, or the styling in general, but I can see what my editor means. It needs a slight modification to fit in with the other books. Especially as it will be the second story in the boxset, assuming that I arrange them chronologically.

All I have to do is work out how I’m going to modify it, to keep all the necessary information in there and match it all up.

As an interesting coda,

while I was formatting this post, I had an idea for a story from the missing years of Dave’s life, the time between Myra and Freefall. Watch this space (Sci-fi authors humour).

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4 Responses

  1. Chris L Adams

    I once rewrote the ending of a story because a reviewer (who both loved it and was frustrated by it) wanted a sequel.

    Now, typically, I wouldn’t do that. But the only thing is, his desire for a sequel got my brain twitching, and I asked myself that fateful question: If there were a sequel, what would it be about…?

    Hmm. Thinking some more. If I did write that, what would I have to change in the initial novel…?

    Turns out, only like the last couple of paragraphs had to be rewritten. Yeah, the ideas I got for a sequel were so powerful that I set aside another novel I was half-way thru writing at the time and spent months developing this sequel.

    Kind of glad I did now, I like it!

    • Richard Dee

      Readers and reviewers eh? I would much rather write sequels than prequels. In the sequel, you’re free to take the story wherever you like. In a prequel, you have to end up at a fixed point, the whole story has to be arranged to take you there. I hate that kind of pressure.

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