1. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    How to start a sequel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Stammis, Oct 25, 2015.

    Hi, so I am considering entering Nanowrimo by writing the sequel for Book of Legacy. The book does not end with a cliff hanger, but there are still many un answered questions. The first book is already 55 000 words and after editing I think there will be around 70 000 words so I think it is best to make a two volume series.

    Anyway, I was just wondering, how do you start a sequel? Do I have to recap what has happened? Reintroduce the characters? or can I just continue where I left of?
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I seem to be busy spraying my uninformed opinions all over the forum today.

    Two personal preferences:

    1] I don't like sequels that start by undoing the progression and resolution of the previous novel. MC works hard and makes his fortune. I don't want to start reading the sequel and suddenly he's a pauper again. Clearly it may be necessary to create new problems and tension, but just undoing the previous novel is not, in my personal opinion, the way to do it.

    2] I prefer sequels that can be read as a standalone novel. Even if I've read the previous novel, I don't object to having backstory in the sequel to keep new readers informed.

    So, how to start? Enough background for the readers to understand what is happening, and introduce a story worthy problem. A new one.
     
  3. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My suggestion: Go to your bookshelf and pick up all the sequels you can find. Take a look at the opening chapters in each and note of the different authors' approaches. :)
     
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  4. Cheyenne
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    Cheyenne Member

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    Personally, do NOT start with a recap. That would annoy the ever-living out of me, because, as a reader, I tend to read sequels directly after the previous book. Even if I'm reading them as they're released, I re-read book 1 before 2 and 2 before 3, etc.

    At the same time, while you don't necessarily have to reintroduce new characters as though your reader doesn't know them (your readers are smart, give them credit), but don't just ASSUME that they remember every detail about them, either. Keep those small details in there (Not ALL readers are that smart, and even those that are appreciate the reminders, helps keep the mental image of the character, IMO).

    However, this is just my two cents, I would definitely pick up as many sequels off your bookshelf/from your library as you can find and study them.
     
  5. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have not written any sequels, but I strongly dislike the recap when I read it. If I were to write a sequel, I would simply just start the novel as if it were a standalone and treat the previous novel just like backstory--sprinkle it in as needed and only when/if needed.
     
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  6. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    My preference would be to start with something new. New character, new location, new dilemma. Don't immediately fall back on the tried and tested; the elements and characters that are familiar and feel comfortable. Come at the audience out of left field, kick them in the shin, and run off into the nearest scrub of bushes. You can (re)introduce the familiar characters and situations later.
     
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  7. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    I think that I will continue the story as if it is a long book instead of treating it as two separate, and worry about how I will tie them together later. However, if I do choose to end it as it currently is; the main characters has just fled a town after freeing a person from the dungeons. The protagonist was never in favour of letting him into their group but the others made the decision without him as they carry the protagonist out of town while sleeping. The first book ends with him waking up and realising who is carrying him. (The protagonist is injured and 14 years old) In the story they visit six key locations, so far they have visited two... this might turn out into a three volume series.
     

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