Sequelitis (n): A severe condition experienced by authors who have committed to writing a sequel, especially to a first novel. Characterized by mental stress, plot confusion and an inability to decide on a working title. May be alleviated (though only temporarily) by copious amounts of alcohol, administered internally.
The working title. Hmmm. At the moment, it is “Sequel to The Butterfly & The Bull.” A couple of days ago, I spent the best part of an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” probing the quagmire of neural chaos inside my skull for inspiration. And was I successful? Let me tell you. Today, I couldn’t find the four draft chapters I’d completed so far. Several moments of raised b.p. later, I discovered them in a folder named “The Consummate Paradox.” I kid you not. Forty minutes of mental gymnastics, and I came up with something that I couldn’t even REMEMBER, never mind relate to.
People who make movies don’t seem to have this problem. So I guess I could call the sequel “The Butterfly & The Bull 2” or “The Butterfly & The Bull – The Reckoning” or even “The Butterfly and The Butterfly – a Tale of Two Fritillaries.” A rich seam? I think not. Perhaps there is inspiration on the bookshelf. Take somebody else’s bright idea and modify it – a touch of justifiable plagiarism. Unfortunately, from where I’m sitting, it doesn’t look promising. None of: Guatemala – A Visitor’s Guide, The Farmers’ Almanac 1992 or Estate and Trust Administration for Dummies seem like very fertile ground.
It seems so simple. I know the plot (roughly), the settings and the characters. You’d think I could come up with something inspirational – or at least mundanely acceptable. The McLennan Six (or Seven or Eight)? Donnie’s Revenge? Jura to Edinburgh – A Traveler’s Guide? Nope. I give in for the moment. Pass the Pino Grigiot, for goodness sake.