Boot or Re-boot?
I’ve been a fan of Supernatural since it debuted. Sam and Dean Winchester are two of my favorite characters on TV, and even when the show drifted from its original urban legend roots to tell a larger, over-reaching story, I was still on board because the characters were still true and the stories, though not as inherently creepy, were still strong.
In my opinion, that’s because the show’s creator, Eric Kripke, had a vision. When he created Supernatural he saw where the story could go, if only it had the opportunity. And once it became a hit in the first season, he plowed ahead with this wonderful five season tale of the bond between brothers and the war between heaven and hell. Through those five seasons, the show never lost its focus on Sam and Dean, and they only changed organically as the story progressed. Was it always brilliant? No, but it was always true to itself and true to the vision.
This is the kind of thing that authors of series kind of plan for, at least I do. The first story goes out into the world, and the author sits back, working on something else, all the while hoping beyond hope that the first story takes off. Because odds are, in the back of their mind, they have a vision. It might not be so clear as to say it’ll take X books to get there, but they know the big picture.
You see, to me, planning a book series is kind of like playing pool or chess. First, you have to have the skills (I don’t have them for either game), but you also have to look so many moves ahead. Even if the end game isn’t in sight, you need a plan on how you’re moving toward it.
And at some point, you need to stop jerking your readers around and get there.
That’s one of the many things Kripke did right. He said five seasons and he meant five seasons. He took viewers on a ride straight up to the gates of hell, just like he promised.
So why is the show still on?
There are a few reasons: the fans still love it, the CW is making money on it, and so is everyone else involved. This happens with books too.
So instead of going quietly into history, a new vision had to be created, a new story written. The big question is whether the people in charge can still do justice to the original world.
Some authors have done it. I have high hopes that Richelle Mead will pull it off with her second series set in the Vampire Academy world. And I’m pretty sure Kelley Armstrong will do it with the Darkness Rising trilogy. But I’ve also seen authors falter when they’ve attempted it. It’s a dicey business pushing a story past what some might claim is its natural end, because it can’t work for every story.
And it’s a fate some feel has befallen the new Supernatural. Everyone I know has different issues with the new season. My husband hates the missing natural banter Sam and Dean were known for. I’m not entirely comfortable with the way the brothers have apparently switched places. I don’t feel like they are the same characters I came to know and love.
But I’m not giving up yet. Eric Kripke might not be at the wheel anymore, but he’s still involved and I’m hoping beyond hope he isn’t going to let fans down.
It’s very similar to the hopes I have for myself with every story I write.
Thank you, Julie, for having me here today. And if readers are interested in me or more of my work, they can find me at www.selestedelaney.com (as well as facebook and twitter) and my debut story Of Course I Try is currently available at www.decadentpublishing.com.
Also, tomorrow for #charactertweet on Twitter, please follow @Ever_Badlands. She is the heroine of my upcoming steampunk/alt-history romance and she’ll be tweeting off and on all day.
I am guest blogging over at Seleste’s blog today as well: http://selestedelaney.com/wordpress/?p=311