Writing Saturday; The Sequel Part 1

9:47 AM

Welcome to the sadly neglected Writing Saturday posts.  Hopefully, there won’t be a lot of empty Writing Saturdays’ in the future.  Today, we are going to start a series on Sequels that I hope you all will enjoy.

Part 1; Should there be a sequel
For those of you who have not finished a book yet, let me prepare you for something; it is always hard to say good-bye to your characters.  You grow to love your characters almost as if they were real people and it is hard to let them ride off into the sun set not knowing what happens next?  Authors are always asking the question, what happened next of a story and no story is that more true of then their own.
But should there be a sequel?  Should your main character sick around for another book, or should they fade into the mist?  This isn’t easy question and there are many factors, so let us explore some of them together, shall we?

Is there more to the story?
The first and most important question is, of course, is there more of the story to tell.  If everything has been resolved in the first book, why would someone like to read the sequel?  If you are planning of writing a sequel, a good plan is leave something unfinished in your first book.
In my Book, The Destiny of One (www.thedestinyofone.com), Maria Morris is searching for what she is supposed to do with her life, and is caught up in an amazing adventure.  When the book ends, she has found what she is supposed to do with her life (at least for the moment), but the adventure hasn’t ended setting up the next book.

So, is setting up a sequel in the first book the only way to make a second book possible?  No!  However, if you don’t set it up in the first book it should at least tie in with what happened in the first book.  Just another story about the same character, rarely works.

Can I make the next book original, or will it feel like a repeat of the first book?
I cannot tell you how many sequels I have read and watched that it appeared the writer/maker had gone; “Oh, that worked great in the first one, let’s do it in in the second.”  However, it really works as well the second time.  Before embarking on the sequel, you need to give some thought on how you are going to make it different.

Think about what your character(s) learned in the first book.  How will that effect their designs in the second book?  For example, if your first book is about a young boy who played with matches and ended up burning his family home down, in book two he might have developed a paralyzing fear of fire.

Are that characters up to the challenge of a sequel?
Your characters did a lot in the first book, but can they handle a sequel?  In your sequel you will likely have to delve deeper in to your main characters thought process or, if you are using a new main character, you will have to dig deeper into the plot.  This can be a challenge especially if your character went through a big change in the first book.

If you want to write a sequel, you will need to spend a lot of time figuring out your character and digging deep into their inner workings.  By doing this, your sequel has the potential to be even better the your first book.

Do I want to write a sequel?
Never write a book, much less a sequel just because someone wants you to.  There will always be people that want to know what happens next, including yourself.  However, it is better to let a story end before someone wants it to then to drag it on until no one wants to read it.

Next week on Writing Saturday: Sequels part 2; Changes in Your Main Character

You Might Also Like


  1. Good thoughts, Sarah! Thanks for sharing! :) Another sequel idea is to make the sequel about the son or daughter of the main character in the first book. That brings a fresh perspective while in a similar setting and feel of the first story. :)


  2. What a great post, Sarah. Very good questions to ask! Thank you for sharing this! An interesting read.

    Also, Julia, good idea. That's what I'm doing with the sequel to my first book ~ writing abotu a friend of the MC in the first. :)