Part of Something Bigger

I have found that learning to knit provides a variety of opportunities to learn humility and patience.  Tonight I got one of those lessons; for those of you who knit, don’t try to use the yarn straight from a hank.  Wait and wind it into a ball first.  I got to experience the “tough love” of hand-winding my own yarn ball because I was impatient.

I did put this penance to good use, however, and came to an important decision about Laila’s story.  She is definitely going to be part of Chasing Butterflies.

A sequel can’t simply be an extended epilogue of the characters we already met in Butterflies.  It has to have a storyline and characters of its own.  This is not a “part 2,” it’s a sequel.  Butterflies had its own plot that was basically resolved within the novel.  Chasing has to have a plot to carry it, as well.

Think about a sequel that you’ve read that was a satisfying as the original.  There were familiar faces, but it also had a depth and complexity of its own.  In fact, a good sequel can theoretically stand on its own, although that requires a bit more introduction of characters and creative explanation of back-story rather than the assumption that readers are familiar with the first tale.

At first it doesn’t appear that Laila’s story has anything to do with the big-picture plot of Chasing.  That’s part of the fun.  Eventually we see a (hopefully) familiar face, the story begins to weave its way into the plot, and then, finally, it all makes sense.  This is part of what I’m working hard to develop for Chasing, so that it is as good as Butterflies.  I’m so glad Laila showed up to add her thread into the fabric.