This is going to be my last post for a while because I am participating in NaNoWriMo, which is an annual writing contest that I’m sure Sara spoke about in a previous post.
Today I want to discuss what I call “Prepping for Sequels”. This also pertains to trilogies, serial installments, whatever.
Basically what it means is — getting yourself mentally ready for the next installment of a story — whether it is a book, television show, or film. How do you get ready? Or do you even get ready?
This idea came to me about a week ago when I was getting ready to read Veronica Roth’s Allegiant. I was conditioning myself and making myself ready to merge into the Divergent world once again by re-reading Insurgent, by reading various wiki pages and story notes. The reason why I did that is because I know that it’s the only way I am going to get the full experience that I know Veronica Roth is trying to create for me.
The same can be said for television shows — I will be doing the same thing for Sherlock when it returns in January; or films — I will be re-reading Catching Fire and re-watching The Hunger Games film, in preparation for the Catching Fire film in a few weeks!
So…do YOU have to be this extreme? Absolutely not.
But films, television shows, and books are created to give you an experience. And most of the time, that experience is disrupted by a book’s ending, a season finale, the next part having not been released yet, etc. There are all types of disruptions that leave us wanting more, but we’re unable to get “more”. So we’re left in a state of pause. In a state of constant anticipation until the next installment is in our hands or on our screens! Believe me, I feel like that everyday. There’s always something I’m waiting on!
But in that state of pause, time passes and we begin to fill our minds with new books, new shows, new films. And the details of what we were waiting for may not be as fresh in our minds as they once were. That is why “prepping for sequels” is such a good idea!
How do I prep? Well, it depends upon what type of media it is:
Books: I typically re-read the previous book (or two — depending on how long it’s been).
This may seem like a tedious process, but if you are an avid book lover and reader, like I am, then it’s not a problem. I have an entire reading calendar set aside for first reads and I have second calendar for re-reads. The experience is very important to me, so I make sure I’m prepared ahead of time, when I know I am waiting on the next installment to a story.
Television Shows: I’m not really a big TV watcher, but as you know, I do watch Sleepy Hollow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I have a rule for television, especially since I have a DVR. That rule is — I do not let a show pile up to more than 3 unwatched episodes. Why do I do that? Because, personally speaking, 3 episodes is all is takes for me to become uninterested in a show. Once I’ve missed 3 eps, I just give up because it’s a hassle for me to play catch up. But since I’ve given myself this rule, I’ve done a fairly good job staying on top of things.
But where the real preparation for TV shows comes into play is between seasons. When season one has ended and you have to wait 3 months for season two to begin. Oh the torture! But finally, it’s time for season two to start, but you need to refresh your memory on what happened at the end of season one. What I recommend doing (and it’s what I do now) is going back to season one and re-watching the last two episodes (at least). Give yourself time to get immersed in the world once again, so you can go into the next installment with freshly “seasoned” eyes.
Movies: For me, this is the category that could potential require the most investment. And I will use The Hunger Games trilogy as the example. I briefly mentioned that in preparation for the Catching Fire film, that I am not only go to re-read the book of the same name, but that I am also going to re-watch the first film. When you’re as passionate about book to film adaptations as I am, then it’s no surprise that I am doing this.
But if you’re really a moviegoer and not a book reader, then I’d just recommend re-watching the first film.
I think re-reading and/or re-watching allows you to have a broader perspective and a clearer mental lens when going into the next film. I use the prep as a means of getting myself excited — all over again — about the fandom and for the series. I don’t want to be the person that’s sitting in the theater confused because I can’t remember a crucial point in the plot. I hate that feeling.
Overall, I just think that preparing for a sequel that you know is coming can be a really fun and enhancing experience. It’s nice to remind yourself why you loved something in the first place. Or to just experience an inkling of the first time you read/saw that book or movie. I definitely don’t think you need to scold yourself if you don’t get around to prepping (unless that’s how you operate), but I do think we should all try it. At least once, if we haven’t already.
What do you think? What are some sequels/next installments that you’re looking forward to? And how are you prepping, if you are?
I’m out of here. Wish me luck with NaNoWriMo!