So, how does everyone else feel about prequels?

Yesterday, prompted by my trip to the movies to see Prometheus, I vented my spleen about how I hate prequels. Now I want to know how you all feel.

Do you like them? Do you hate them? Do you not care, so long as you get to see more Duncan Idaho/Legolas/facehuggers/Lestat/Severus Snape?

I’m curious.*

*And not because I’m thinking of writing a Beware the Hawk prequel. Because I’m not.

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2 thoughts on “So, how does everyone else feel about prequels?

  1. I think prequels really have to be judged on a case by case basis. Some ARE just money sucking trash; others, a legitimate response to people needing to know more of the story.
    Take the book “Little Alters Everywhere”, it’s the prequel to “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, I loved “Alters” even more than “Ya-Ya Sisterhood”. The reason? I felt so connected to the characters, I needed to know everything about them and “Alters” gave me that opportunity.
    When I finish the last page of a book I really love, I will go back to the beginning and read the fist chapter again because I am so sad I have to say goodbye. I love when there are prequels to books like those.
    Just like a new person you meet- some people you chat with and never need to talk with them again; others are so interesting and you feel so connected to them, you want to get to know all about them and can spend years doing so.
    For me, it all comes down to the skill of the person weaving the story. If someone can make me care about a character, and show that they really care about the character too, then I will devour anything to do with the story.
    Would I read a prequel about Atticus Finch,? You bet I would!

    • Hey Kathy, I think it might have taken me a full 24 hours to get back to you on this comment, because I really wanted to think my reply through.

      I too, when I finish a book I love, I also go back and re-read the beginning because I hate saying good-bye. I crave a sequel to those books, however, because I want the story to continue.

      The difference between our approaches is this, I think:
      As a reader, almost as soon as I put the book down, I begin imagining the backstories of all the characters. I feel like that connects me more to the characters than any prequel ever could. It lets me set up my own stories about the characters’ pasts and private lives.

      As an author, I know that when my story is released to the public, I have to let it go to a major degree. If I’m lucky, and people like my work, they are going to take ownership of my characters. They’re going to decide what those characters look like, how those characters sound and where those characters came from. I have to let them be able to do that.

      I hate prequels because it seems like the author is trying to wrestle control of his or her story back from the readers. And it seems like they’re trying to suck cash from their fans as well.

      In the interest of full disclosure, however, I never read “Alters.” I did read “Ya-Ya,” though.

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