Sophomore Slump

Went to see Sin City 2 last night. Enjoyable flick. As most of the critics have said, I really missed that innovative edge the first film had. Not that this one was any less beautiful than its predecessor but, in the 9 years between films, the first film has been aped and mimicked by so many other films either in part or whole that just repeating its feats no longer seems fresh or innovative.

Bands, tech companies, and novelists all struggle with that sophomore slump. How do you “innovate” something new and yet keep your loyal fans happy? Thankfully I’m too small time to really have to worry about it. But it is something that I contemplated in writing Exegesis.

There was a multi-year span between when I finished the first draft of Catharsis and when I published Exegesis. In the interim, I grew and changed both as a person and artist. So the book naturally reflects some of those changes. And the characters themselves have evolved and changed. So that necessarily makes for a different work.

That’s great! But it’s not really innovative. So how do I push the envelope? And once it’s pushed, will anyone who enjoyed the preceding book like a new one?

Admittedly, I didn’t try to reinvent the form with Exegesis. I just let the story continue to expand. Sin City somewhat attempted that, but fell short of impressing through that alone. So what else could it have done? What else could I do?

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