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On the subject of sequels... or perhaps a better term is "linked stories", where a secondary character mentioned in a story is the primary character in a subsequent story, where the major characters of former stories may or may not show up. Think "Game of Thrones", where each but perhaps not even that closely linked in the world-building department.

How do folks feel about those?

Are you more inclined to read a story set in a "world" which has already been created, especially if you liked the previous story or stories? Do you avoid stories marked as "sequels" if you've never read any of the ones leading up, even if the stories can stand alone on their own? Does the author re-iterating events in previous stories annoy you if you've already read them?

The reason I ask is that I tend to like writing stories that are linked. Say a minor character in one story suddenly pokes me and says "Hey! I'm interesting all on my own! Tell them my story!"

Yet at the same time I don't always like reading those kinds of stories, at least from the perspective of coming in at the middle. Perhaps it's a little OCD of me, and I've certainly done it, and I find I appreciate the author providing background of the universe in those cases. I recently read a story because the blurb was interesting, even though I knew I was coming into an already created "universe", and then was floored when the author did NO explanation. It was obvious that they expected the reader to garner from context what the set up was, rather than giving any explanation whatsoever, and I was VERY annoyed. (In this case, the blurb mentioned NOTHING about the fact that the universe of the "club" where the action took place was actually well into the future where space travel between planets existed. Then it never said if the planet the "club" was on was actually Earth, or somewhere else!)

So, please share your thoughts and opinions, both as a reader and a writer. Include fanfiction, if that's where your main interest lies, although by it's very nature a lot of fanfiction tends to assume the reader doesn't really need an explanation... after all, that's why you're reading it already, right? :D

Date: 2012-11-21 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellid.livejournal.com
I like stories that expand on characters and incidents from other works :)

Date: 2012-11-21 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] geri-chan.livejournal.com
I love "linked stories"! I tend to develop a fondness for supporting characters, so it's always awesome when they get a story of their own.

I like to read series in order, so I'm more likely to read a linked story if I'm already familiar with the series. But sometimes I do jump in from the middle, especially if it's made clear that the linked story is stand-alone. Or if the main series is a rather lengthy one and I either want to sample a short story before jumping in, or the story sounds really interesting and I don't want to wait until I've read the 10+ books in the main series first. But yeah, it would be annoying if the author didn't give any background, and as a new reader, I had no idea of what was going on. OTOH, regular readers of the series might be bored by a lot of exposition that they're already familiar with, so the author has to strike a balance between the two.

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