Friday, January 20, 2012

The Awkward Stages of Growing Babies and Books

I'm 17 weeks pregnant today, and in spite of my efforts to eat healthy and not exercise (but it's sooooo hard and sitting is so much fun!) I am bigger at this point than I have been in my previous pregnancies. It's that in-between stage where it's not quite clear if I am fat or pregnant. Also my clothes are too tight, but my maternity clothes are too big-so I can wear my barely buttoned (or not buttoned) jeans OR keep pulling my maternity pants up. And if I pick my daughter up and carry her, she has this way of wedging her ankle into the back of my maternity pants like a stirrup. Only my pants don't hold up as well as a stirrup.

Smooth-transition-into-talking-about-my-book-in-which-I-liken-writing-the-end-of-my-book-to-having-my-daughter-push-my-pants-down.

I've been less than 10,000 words away from the end of my pirate book for much too long. I even have the end completely plotted out, which is nothing like writing the end of my last book in which I just wrote it blindly and hoped it turned out okay. (It didn't.) However, there was the whole pregnancy sickness thing that pushed me back. Then Christmas. Then I started working on another book, a book I started awhile ago while I was still writing Pieces of Moon. I felt like the characters in my book were passing me by on their cruise ship waving at me to notice them. And I was ignoring them. Well, okay, I started noticing them again a couple of days ago. So we're back on board. (Back on board...heh heh...clever.)

I'm so close I can taste it. Can I finish before the end of January? I know I can. Plus, next month we are moving again. We've been living with my in-laws since the end of the summer, and I'm excited to get into our own house. It's been a good temporary living situation, but I've never appreciated the independence of running my own household until recently. Also, my in-law's house is too big for a two year-old, and my daughter keeps running away from me and getting lost. So I have to keep finding her. Hopefully I'll find her before we move.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Sequel Soapbox

I recently read a YA book which was just okay. However, I finished it because there were so many loose ends and I wanted to see how they were going to be all tied up. And they weren't. I have to wait a year for the sequel. But the thing is, I'm not going to read the sequel. I don't care enough about the story to immerse myself into the world again in a year.

The truth is, even if it is a book that is more than just okay, I still don't always read the sequel. I've found lately that I'm really not a sequel girl. In fact, I'm becoming a little annoyed with books with sequels because I feel like so many books should not have sequels...that the sequels just drag out a story that should be wrapped up in one book, not three. I've read sequels that are honestly a little painful because the story just seems too forced...like the author is dragging it out just to make it to the last book.

There are exceptions of course. Sometimes sequels work very well. And I think some multiple-book series work well, especially with children's books such as The Boxcar Children, where each book is a separate adventure almost independent of the other books in the series. I'm also a fan of companion novels where you can enter the world of the novel again, but each book completes its own story. A good example of this is Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern.

And as a writer, I like to wrap up my story in one book. I don't like to have loose ends. And when I finish the story...well, I think I'm done with it.

What are your feelings about sequels?