Originally Posted by Nyssa
Well, aren't prequels usually the "Oh I forgot to say this" or "Ah, now I know how I really wanted to introduce this character or topic" type things? Basically, back story after thoughts?
I mean no one really starts out planning to write a prequel, do they?
Oh I think many certainly do
plan prequels. Some may write them as afterthoughts, but not all, by any means. Many prequels are meant
to be read later (ask the authors). Often times there's secrets revealed in those prequels that can potentially spoil surprises and kill the suspense of the "true" first books in the series. There also may be knowledge in a prequel that will mean absolutely nothing to you without having read the rest of the series already.
So, I tend to think that prequels are a lot
more than a Columbo type—"just one more thing"—scenario. In many cases, they are treated as complex flashbacks (that happen to be really long), yet wouldn't make as much sense outside the other books' future context.
Plus, I generally roll with the idea that you can't "unring the bell." If they wanted me to read
it first... they should have written
it first. No takeseys-backseys.