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A few thoughts on sequels

Ways in which writing a sequel is easier than writing a standalone/first book:

-I already know the characters (well, the ones that are returning; there are new ones too) and generally what they want and how they will act in various situations.

-I have conflicts already built into book 1 that can continue to unfold.

-People have already enjoyed book 1, so I can go into this story with a reasonably good expectation that if I write it well, people will enjoy finding out more about those characters and their conflicts.

Ways in which writing a sequel is harder than writing a standalone/first book:

-I have to find new and exciting things to do with characters who have already been through a lot, or people are going to wonder why they are bothering to read more about them.

-I need to come up with fresh yet equally-engaging conflicts that still fit within a world and backstory I can’t change now.

-People have already enjoyed book 1, so they are going to have certain expectations of enjoying book 2, so I had better write it really really well.

Yes, I am back to work on the The Way We Fall sequel. Inspire me! What are your favorite sequels, and why?

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
The sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko, is really nice because the solution to the first book spawns the problem to the second.

I agree that they are hard, though. I have tried very hard never to write a sequel. However, my current book is the kind that probably should have one (MG action adventure), should someone buy it, so I'm wading in the same puddles, trying to come up with something even more exciting, yet related, yet not redundant. So I'm all ears!
Mar. 2nd, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I haven't read that sequel, but did enjoy the first book--I'll have to check that out!
Mar. 1st, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
While there are many series that I read (and re-read occasionally), nothing beats Lois McMaster Bujold's Mile Vorkosigan series. Not one of those sequels has ever disappointed, and they're not cookie cutter copies like JR Ward or Nora Roberts.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
I've only read THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE so far, but have been meaning to read more... Perhaps this is just the excuse I need to do so! :)
Mar. 2nd, 2011 05:40 am (UTC)
Carol Matas and (excuse me while I go look up his name because its weird and I can never remember it) Perry Nodelman's 'Minds' series--which is the first series to introduce me to the theory of 'evil dopplegangers who do everything better than their originals'--I was so happy when I saw it was 4 books long and not the one book I thought it was.

Acorna, when it got its first sequel 'Acorna's Quest'. The subsequent sequels all fell from 'omg I love this series' to 'above average only considering its about a bunch of people who are half unicorn and that means it wins bonus points'.

I was pleasantly surprised when Maria V Snyder announced a sequel to 'Inside Out'. Still need to read it, but nonetheless pleasantly surprised!

I was also pleasantly surprised when I heard Sabrina Jeffries was doing a companion series to her 'School for Heiresses' series. AND Julia Quinn is finally writing the Smythe-Smith books (a sequel/companion series to her Bridgerton novels).

I always wanted a sequel to Willo Davis Roberts' "Girl with the Silver Eyes" however. I never felt that just ending it with the kids agreeing to go off to the institute was the 'end', I wanted to know what it was like for them and how it effected their lives (did it make it easier? did they fit in better? make them feel more isolated? how many others were there?). Alas it never happened :sigh:
Mar. 2nd, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all the suggestions! :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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