It seems that I’ve been met with a few negative opinions about writing a sequel to my last work, which I detailed in my last post.
Most of them spawn from the idea that stories, voices, lives, etc. are finalized (and should remain that way) after a certain event (in my case, it was the death of a main character at the end of my last work).
Bakhtin, a 19th Century literary critic, talked about the unfinalizability of voice in both literary works and in our everyday lives. Unfinalizability, irrationality, and illogicality are what give us our humanity – we can’t apply equations like 2 + 2 = 4 to our lives because we don’t follow set paths. Not all of our outcomes are expected and predictable. Our lives are messy and irregular and that’s what makes us human.
A conclusion to a story doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a story; it simply means that a story is done for now and that the rest is up to interpretation. In my last work, it was clear that the main character remembered the name of the character that died even after losing his memory, but it wasn’t clear as to how or why he remembered it, and it doesn’t discuss the aftermath and the effect of remembering the name of the character (and, eventually, remembering the character herself).
Sometimes, it’s better to leave a story as it stands – up to interpretation, which is very Dostoevsky-esque. But I haven’t been able to write a full, completed story in the longest time, and I always felt that it was because I wasn’t finished telling this one yet. it’s similar to my eating habits, where I eat things one at a time in a clockwise fashion around my plate – I can’t start the next food item until the last is finished (very weird, it is OK for you to judge me harshly for this).
But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to pull a “LOL jk the dead character isn’t dead” on everybody. Who do you think I am? I wasn’t raised in the jungle, thank you very much. The sequel is about the aftermath: it is about grief and coping with loss, and identity, and love, and how illogical the world is and how beautiful that can be, and how important memories are to us as human beings.
I haven’t taken these negative opinions into much account, although they are in the back of my head. I’ve also been met with many, many positive opinions and praise, which make me feel like gold as an author. However, I am writing for neither party – I am writing this mostly for myself.
As selfish as that may sound, this piece of work is an expression of myself, and a cure to writer’s block, and a piece of my soul, my beliefs, my education, and my identity. None of this work is for specifically anybody else other than myself, although I invite others to indulge alongside me.
Chapter 1 is done, Chapter 2 has just been written, and once I get all of my other odds and ends completed, I’ll start Chapter 3 of the 11-part short fic.
Really hoping I do the story in my head justice.