The Prequel Problem

When I decided to finally start writing for real instead of just talking about it, I wanted to start with a small challenge and decided to write a short story. For some reason I had real trouble working out something I wanted to write about and so decided to write something based in the same world as the larger project I was planning.

Since I knew there was going to be a longer story set in that world, I went along my timeline and picked an event somewhat before the main story. So basically I wrote a prequel to the main story first.  Often prequels are written after the fact. Mine was written before the main story. I still managed to write it like the main story had already been written and now my short story, that became a novella, contains too many characters and too little character development for my protagonist.

The first happened because there was already such a large pool of interesting characters available to pick from. The second because I could not very well make changes in the character that are supposed to happen in the main story. And after looking over the story I find, that I can’t fix it – especially not the first part. Not without such a major overhaul of the story, that I could just as well start over.

These two issues will be less pronounced if the main story is already written when I release the prequel. So now I am facing the decision – well not right now but hopefully in the near future – what to do with “Child of Ceres”? Do I write this off as beginner’s mistakes and release it into the wild without immediate follow-up or do I wait …

Currently, when I have time to work on my writing, I am creating the outline of the novel. I am already into the final act. I need to create outlines for a few more chapters and then I’ll be able to start writing. But I am guessing that won’t happen before late April – due to circumstances. Yesterday I wrote a teaser. With “Child of Ceres” there was this moment when I was asked what my story was about and I had no answer. To avoid a similarly embarrassing experience, I wrote down my answer for this one and maybe I’ll publish it here once I’ve had a chance to look it over and run it by my primary test subject.