Occasionally I will write up a page or so of notes for one of the potential Byuck sequels. I do this because the ideas are good, not because I anticipate writing the books. First of all, even after several acceptances from several publishers, Byuck remains unpublished. Second of all, why write a sequel to a book unless it was substantially successful to start with? I only have time to write n books in my life; writing sequels to unread volumes seems pretty lousy resource management.
Some people write series naturally; in fact, I would offer the argument that a novel series is as different an artform from the novel as is the short story. I do not write series, not naturally. If I were to write sequels, they would be, at heart, separate books and not The Continuing Saga.
(Tangent: Just as I find it remarkable that in our time-stressed world novels are more popular than short stories, so do I find the ultimate market power of series astonishing. What gives? My best theory is that taking time to meet new characters feels more demanding than the time it takes to read another 700 pages? I know, I know: weak theory. So what's yours?)
From the author's (and, I suppose, the readers') perspectives, laying down fully formed characters for good is difficult. A good character doesn't die till he's dead --- he continues living past the epilogue, even if we don't see it. And characters are beloved, so of course our mind's eye will, at times, turn their way. So are sequels then a selfish refusal to let them live their own lives, away from our gaze?
I'm not officially in favor of the Mystical Author, the magic man who sees visions and has no control over his creations --- officially, I see see writing as art and craft --- but practically, initial creation often arrives fully formed. And rather than checking out their gift-horse teeth, I the artist write them down. Who am I to pick and choose on any basis other than what is best?
But, as I said, there are plenty of shirts on the rack to choose from. Why stick with the new pattern on last years model?
(Tangent: Lately I've been having issues with blanketing the world with half-formed metaphors. I apologize. It's like there's a metaphor geyser in my mind and all I can do is reroute pedestrian traffic.)