If you’re reading this, you’ve probably just finished Emma’s Story – at least I hope you have. I’m writing this with the assumption that you have.
If I got the story right, you’ll have a few questions, hopefully something along the lines of:
- What happened next? How did it go?
- Will the be a sequel?
My answer to the first question is probably similar to yours: “I don’t know, but I have a few ideas.” The answer to the second question is “No, there will not be a sequel. I have no plans on writing another story about Emma.”
That doesn’t mean that this is the last I’ll ever write about her, just that she won’t have another story of her own.
Before I elaborate on that, I’d like to go back a little and explain how the story of Emma started.
It’s about half a year ago at the time I’m writing this. I had just finished writing the first draft of my first novel, Enar’s Vacation (still not published). I’d sent it off to a friend for editing (spare time job, done for free and not yet completed – there’s no rush, it’ll get there), and I was wondering what to write next.
Eventually, I got the idea to write a few short stories in support of my novel.
The novel contains a lot of minor characters that just pass through, and there are a lot of unrelated events that are just mentioned in passing. I figured it’d be fun to try and write short stories about these characters and these events.
Emma’s Story is the first of these. Yes, I know it’s a bit long to be a short story.
In Enar’s Vacation, the events of Emma’s Story are mentioned in the following paragraphs:
What’s with all the little houses? Enar still hadn’t seen any burrows since he arrived. Hasse would probably know. He’d ask him in a bit. The old man seemed busy regaling Jorg with the latest gossip, and it wasn’t like it was very urgent anyway. He leaned back against the apples and listened in as the driver babbled on.
“…and did you hear they had a bear up in Rastebo this winter? Mauled some sheep and the locals couldn’t get rid of it. Had to call in help from all the hillsides they did. Biggest bear he ever saw, old Lennart said, beat him up good it did too.”
“Oh, no, I didn’t hear that,” said Jorg. “Did they manage to drive it off in the end?”
“Oh, yes they, did, but not before it killed young Torkel from Kvarn.” Hasse fell silent for a moment and then cleared his throat. “See, lad up and went after it on the lone. Wanted to impress his lass he did, little Emma – Herman’s daughter you know, Kvarn too – and wasn’t that a fine affair. A scandal if ever there was one.”
“Oh?” Jorg nodded.
“Aye, for sure.” Hasse turned his head and spat over the side of the cart. “Came spring, little Emma’s already got herself betrothed to young Egon – that’s Torkel’s younger brother.” He snorted and shook his head. “No shame those people. Got their eyes set on Herman’s burrow they do, setting their daughter on his last sons like that. It’s a scandal I tell you. No shame.”
Now that’s not exactly how it happened in the story. Egon changed name to Burje. Everyone turns out to be from Rastebo, and Kvarn isn’t even mentioned, but overall it’s pretty much the same.
Except, that wasn’t really how it happened was it? That description doesn’t sound like Emma to me at all – not anymore. I’ll be changing that section so that it’s more in line with what really happened.
Then again, I might not. I could change it into a complete lie.
The important part, the way I see it, is that if someone reads Emma’s Story first, and Enar’s Vacation (the novel) after, they’ll discover this little easter egg in the novel. It’s something familiar that they know something about, and that someone who hasn’t read Emma’s Story will miss completely.
So, did I write Emma’s Story just to trick you into reading Enar’s Vacation? Yes and no. I wrote Emma’s Story in order to support my novel. I want it to serve as an introduction to my writing and the world I’ve created.
I did not choose to end Emma’s Story in this way in order to trick you into reading Enar’s Vacation to find out what happened. This isn’t meant to be a cliff-hanger. It really is the end of the story.
Importantly, the “easter egg” will work a lot better if the reader doesn’t expect it. If they don’t know it’s there, it’ll come as a pleasant surprise to them, and it’ll increase their enjoyment of the novel. At least that’s the theory. I hope it makes sense to you too.
I realise I’ve ruined the surprise of the easter egg for you, and for that I apologise. I hope you’ll be able to take some pleasure in being in on the secret though.
So, no, there will not be another story about Emma, but that doesn’t mean she’ll never be mentioned again.