Is either necessary? I think most books are better left to stand alone, like “Gone with the Wind”. I just read where a prequel to “GWTW” is in the works. Wasn’t “Scarlett” (which, I admit, I never read) bad enough? Maybe I just don’t want to like “Scarlett”. I see writers who write sequels or prequels to famous novels as piggybacking off another author’s success.
I prefer retellings.
That said, years ago, when I was an avid fan of V.C. Andrews, I wrote a sequel to “My Sweet Audrina”–the only stand-alone novel V.C. wrote. I don’t know whatever happened to it, but I am tempted to go back and rewrite it. I know I could do better in V.C.’s stead than that hack, Andrew Neiderman. (Most anyone could.)
I’d also thought about writing a sequel to “Pollyanna” (even though the movie was much better than the book), only to find that one had already been written by the author, Eleanor H. Porter.
What’s worse to me, though, is when an author like Nicholas Sparks writes a sweet story (“The Notebook”), and then pens an abysmal sequel (“The Wedding”). For me, if the same author writes the sequel, it’s hard to separate the two. Still, it doesn’t diminish the original book for me–I don’t let it.
I watched “The Wizard of Oz” last night. Still a delight! I hadn’t watched it since I was a kid, and I picked up on the allegorical nature of the film I didn’t back then. To me, brains, heart and courage were something only a “wizard” (i.e. God) could give a person. Glinda was Dorothy’s guardian angel. The “yellow brick road” was the road paved with gold that led to Heaven (i.e. the Emerald City). The poppies were drugs that caused them to lose ambition and the snow that refreshed them represented manna.
I tried watching “Oz: The Great and Powerful”, but gave up about halfway through. Such a disappointment it was, but one cannot help but compare it to the original, which was as bright as this one was dark. Had it been a retelling and not a prequel (though the premise had potential), I might have at least finished it.
It’s been years since I read the book by L. Frank Baum, but I don’t recall there being a Good Witch of the South. I just wrote a story about her and Dorothy’s granddaughter for a short story contest. The theme was “alien” and what it means to us, so I made Dorothy’s granddaughter an illegal alien in the land of Oz. Aliens from outer space was too obvious.
The biggest project I’m working on now in relation to this topic is a set of fractured fairy tales juxtaposed with Biblical allegories (i.e. “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel).
This is what “Writer’s Digest” had to say about writing a sequel to someone else’s book: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/legal-questions/updated-can-you-write-the-sequel-to-someone-elses-book
Looks like I’ll have to publish my sequel, simply titled, “Audrina”, for free on a V.C. fanfiction site. (That was how the author of “Fifty Shades of Gray” got started; the story was developed from a “Twilight” fanfiction series and published on fanfiction websites.)
Are there any sequels (or prequels) you’d like to read or even write yourself?