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The Two Question Novel Quiz Part 4: The Sequel

Categories: This Writer's Life.
If you’re writing a novel, and you’ve gotten past the third chapter  
without thinking about a sequel, you, friend, are behind. College  
level math shows that writers who have ideas beyond the book they’re  
writing are more likely to a) get agents b) get published to multiple  
book deals and c) stay fit well into pregnancy. But if this is not  
you, do not lose hope, like most people did after the first season of  
The O.C. All is not lost. You may have a sequel in there somewhere.  
You just need to take this quiz to find out.

1. Finally (but, like, in a good way) your first book ends. Pick the  
letter which best parallels your own main character’s plight at the  
end of said book.

A. After nearly falling for the wrong girl during the 70s dance bc  
she could do the Hustle, Casey gets back together with the love of  
his life, Drew. But as Casey and Drew ride off in their 2007 Chrysler  
Sebring convertible to spend a weekend in South Beach at the Raleigh  
Hotel because the pool is nice, the girl that did the Hustle stands  
by the side of the road shouting, “This isn’t over! In fact, this is  
just beginning!”  Then she follows them in her own Chrysler Sebring,  
which is a hard top.
B. Although they failed to find the lost treasure of Zion, the book  
ends with Casey and Drew both moving to the Nolita section of New  
York City, where they get internships at Runway fashion magazine  
under the notorious (but personally fragile!) Miranda Priestly.
C. The book ends with Casey treating his lady friend Drew to some  
waffles at the Waffle House. Drew looks down at the place setting  
underneath her Toddle House Ham and Cheese Omelet, which lists all of  
the other Waffle House locations nation-wide and says, “Hot Tuesday,  
Casey! They just opened a new Waffle House in Groveport!”
“Groveport, Ohio?” Casey asks.
“It has to be!” Drew looks across the table, his eyes shining. “Are  
you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Casey says, “No.”
D. Casey dies of a love stroke. And right before he dies, he ties up  
a bunch of loose ends. The book ends with the doctor saying (directly  
to the reader), “There’s nothing more to be done. Or said. Or, like,  
typed.”

2. Your attitude towards re-utilizing your characters from your first  
book could best be characterized by which Justin Timberlake/NSync song?

A. I’ll Never Stop
B.
What Goes Around Comes Around
C.
Bye Bye Bye
D.
The Game is Over

Key:
Mostly A’s: Congratulations. You are all sequeled up and have left  
many opportunities for reprisals in other books. Quite literally, you  
might have the potential to write infinity books about your  
characters. I smell the next Babysitter’s Club series.

Mostly B’s: Yes! Like in real life, you’ve left some awkward loose  
ends that invite the possibility for sequel without completely  
overdoing it. You feel comfortable with your characters but know that  
a change in locale/age/perspective might be just the ticket to  
keeping them fresh and ever developing. And if you didn’t know that  
before, well, now you do.

Mostly C’s: You’re not necessarily in a prime position to rock a  
sequel, but, hey, it’s not like your main character died. Right?  
Right? Oh. Well…hmmmm.

Mostly D’s: To say that you’re not really feeling a sequel would be  
tantamount to me saying that I only watch Justin Timberlake’s live  
Madison Square Garden Concert on HBO OnDemand every time I come home  
intoxicated and I’ve stopped feeling weird about it. In other words,  
an understatement.

Let me know how sequeled up you are in the Comment portion of the  
show. And, as Danny requested, my very best Foreigner pick…

Cold as,
ice

Foreigner

Post Script for Pre-Promotional Sidenote: On Sunday, I spent 8 hours on a train.  
Well, two trains. The reasoning behind my sudden and drastic increase  
in train-related travel was to go to NYC for a 7 hour period to film  
a series of short web videos that will debut in the Spring on this  
very internet locale (among other locales). Despite me being  
involved, you should not automatically assume the worst. Said  
webisodes feature actual professional actresses/comedians/TOW book  
authors and a real director and a real sound guy, all of whom used  
real film lingo like “soundcheck” and “action” during the filming. I  
do not want to give any more away other than to say that everyone was  
extremely impressive, I was very nervous, and getting (repeatedly)  
slapped in the face isn’t actually as bad as I thought. Keep your  
internets antenna up for more info as we come close to the drop date. 

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10 Responses to The Two Question Novel Quiz Part 4: The Sequel

  1. Kevin Alexander says:

    The prequel? Holy sh*t. Latham is thinking extremely outside the Matrix. Well played friend.

  2. Latham says:

    For those of you who have the main character die with no sequel in the making, don’t forget about the prequel. Almost as boring as most sequels but with the spin-offs and licensing for which we all dream.

  3. Kevin Alexander says:

    Robert,

    Thank you for your honesty. Luckily for both of us, our friendship is stronger than you actually reading my posts.

    Isn’t,
    it?

    ps- Put on your buddy.

  4. Kevin Alexander says:

    Tom– thank you for the coherent and prescient comment. Rev on the redline would’ve been a great call, but we have to find a solid balance between familiarity and obscurity mostly so that youtube will have a proper link… and killing characters in short stories is fine. Unless you’re making a book of linked short stories. Then you should probably stop killing those characters.

    And Jeff: Yes. You are correct. I kind of have a man crush on Justin Timberlake. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for several years now, ever since I found out that he’s, like, pretty good at basketball and tongue kisses Jess Biel. I’m glad I can finally feel comfortable admitting this in a public forum. And by comfortable, I mean, like, even more comfortable.

  5. Dan Pettinato says:

    I believe it was Cheeseburger POT Pie

  6. Rob says:

    Dear Kevin,

    I did not read this new post.

    Cheeseburger,
    Pie

    P.S. Get In The Basement

  7. Jeff says:

    Is it me or do you often refer to Justin Timberlake? I’m just sayin…

  8. Tom says:

    Commenting on the fly while at work – it can get ugly. I’m gonna have to start taking Tuesdays off of work so I can more properly respond to the blog. Thanks, Yael.

  9. Yael says:

    Just a note to Tom:

    In your first paragraph, that should read, "…is something out for which I am not cut."

  10. Tom says:

    Kev,

    Once again you’ve shed a crushing light on my literary reality. First it was the revelation that a Masters in creative writing was probably not my Next Big Step. Now I find that sequalism (that’s a word as of now) isn’t something I’m cut out for (or, "for which I am cut out" if you want to get all Strunk and White about it).

    I scored heavily in the B and C portion of the quiz. What’s worse, in real life real life (not the scripted real life of many highly popular prime time television shows), I actually just finished a short story in which the main character did, in fact, die. What’s worse than that is, I got a near-immediate personal response from the editor saying it was "going into Round 2." I didn’t realize how terrible this news is for me. I’ve cut off all hopes of sequels, spinoffs, multiple story-based Lifetime made-for-TV movie deals, action figures, lunch boxes, and board games. This blows, man, and it’s hitting me in the gut like whatever it was that the girl in the next cube was eating/embalming for lunch.

    On a more positive note, I approve of Danny’s pick for "Cold as Ice." I might have personally gone for something a little more obscure, like "Rev on the Redline," but that’s only because that’s where I live my life, baby – on the red line. "Jukebox Hero" would have been way too obvious, and "I Wanna Know What Love Is, is, as we all know, just a bunch of melodramatic horsehockey (sorry for the harsh language).

    Well, Kev, it’s been another stellar blog, even if it has dashed all my hopes of quitting work this year and living off a sizeable cache or royalties and film rights. Keep doing what you do: bringing The Truth to the Masses, even if it’s an ugly one that everyone else is too afraid to approach!

    Mad props,

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