Writing a Sequel to an Unsold Story

Good afternoon.
     I’m currently writing a thematic sequel to ‘Sympathy for the Enemy’ a story that I’m trying to sell to the Australasian market. It’s actually got a fairly good chance of acceptance (1 in 3, which is better betting odds than most; hurrah for informed decision making processes), but it’s not exactly a done deal, is it? So why, the bloody hell, am I writing another story related to it?
     Well, on one level you don’t need to have ever read ‘Sympathy for the Enemy’ to make sense of ‘For the Time After’ (well, that’s the plan). Also, it’s a thematic sequel (regular readers of this column will know my distaste of sequels…) and thus if the first story gets rejected the second can still be sent out into the wilderness…
     Which leads me to the big question; if ‘Sympathy of the Enemy’ does sell, do I submit the thematic sequel to the same magazine or send it elsewhere? I have two other story ideas set in the same milieu, one of which is straight horror and thus not really applicable to the market this unnamed magazine sits in. If I ever write this story then I can’t really send it in good conscience to the magazine in question (although if they were to take story one and two, then I could send the third (if it were the third) in with a ‘I know it really isn’t your kind of thing, but…’ note attached to it…)… It’s all rather worrying (the number of ‘…’ I have in this paragraph alone (along with my bracketted asides in bracketted asides)).
     Still, am actualy writing non-academic work, so life be good

Reviews of Books Not Yet Written

A token update; I’ve fallen slightly behind on the fiction front due to producing 10k of exciting academic material. I really should have sat down and mapped out where I am sending three of my stories to, but a slight (and by slight I mean rather major) hangover destroyed all drive today. So, instead of a ego-centric ‘Look at me’ update I present you the review of Mr. Iain M. Bank’s as yet unreleased forthcoming book, lifted straight off Amazon.

“In what can only be described as a book. Banks returns to his, by now familiar, trick of using the glyphs known as letters and punctation to describe scenes, events and characters. With words, scentences, paragraphs and even, on occasions, chapters Iain tells what one might call a story. This book should be treated with caution and under no circumstances should the reader attempt to read it out loud without breathing in at least as often as they breath out.”

     Reviewer: MR JOHN F W RICHARDS from Doncaster, S. Yorks United Kingdom


I wrote a rather pretentious rant a few weeks back, all about the terrors, travails and virtues of the writing life.

     It was wank. Wank wank wank.

So I’m rather pleased that I didn’t end up posting it for all to see, although perhaps I should give you some edited and context-less highlights, for the sake of our children (well, his children…)
     Actually, no. I’d far rather you read this. Not mine, but so much of what is good in the world isn’t.


“People often relate their dreams to me, as if amazed that they are capable, even in that sub-lucid realm, of conceiving of such nonsensical, even non sequitur, images. The wonder, or empowerment, I hear in their voices is of the creator„cut loose from inhibitions: stimulating themselves. They marvel at their sleeping mindÍs ability to not make sense, and then proceed as if it did. They seem surprised that they can open up reality and tinker with it, maybe even that they are permitted to.”
     Jeff Paris, ‘New Genre’, Volume I, Number III, Summer 2002