1. para_noir
    Offline

    para_noir Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In the mirror

    Sequels

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by para_noir, Jun 13, 2008.

    My story is way too long to fit into one book. Hence, I need to write two sequels.

    Now my question is, when I'm planning, summarizing, plot-creating, etc, etc, do I need to work on the stories of all three books or just the first one?

    Because I'm already having trouble figuring out the plot of the first one...

    So, is it necessary? Or can I first finish book 1 and then go to the others?
     
  2. Scribe Rewan
    Offline

    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    2
    Personally, I would say you need to plan out the whole triolgy rather than just work on one book. The problem with working on just one book is that it wont set events up in the next book properly if you look at each book as a whole. I'd suggest planning the whole plot and then breaking it down into the three books, rather than going, 'right, book one. What happens here.' If you already know the whole story then this should be easy, and it will make the plot in the next two books stronger because things can easily be established in the first book and then resolved in the next or final book.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. Brode
    Offline

    Brode Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    2
    Your plot creation should take the form of two steps. The first is the over-view of what exactly is going to happen over the entire series.

    "Okay, this is what is needs to happen for the story to work..."

    The next step is forming your individual book plots.

    "This is what's going to happen to make the book worth reading."

    To visualize, the first step determines the skeleton of your series whereas the second step creates the meat of the individual books.

    I hope that helped. I don't know if that will make any sense to anyone besides me...
     
  4. InkDancer
    Offline

    InkDancer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sayville, NY
    I think a lot depends on how you write. Do you have a detailed outline for your first book? If so, you should probably do the same for the remaining two. Do you kind of "wing it" when you write? If that's the case, a general outline should suffice.

    Of course, there's one question we've left out. Will you publish the first two books before the third is written? If not, then you can treat the trilogy as one long series, and go back and revise right up until it is accepted for publication.
     
  5. wildflower
    Offline

    wildflower Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    3
    I say plan the whole series.

    I personally don't want to say my own series will be x-many books, but I have planned ahead to the third and have tried to tie in little things from the first two that will help move the story along
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    regardless of how you plan it all out, your first book MUST be a stand-alone novel that can sell well, whether or not there will be sequels...

    and when querying agents/publishers, it's not a good idea to mention sequels, because no one will care if you have any planned/in the works, unless and until the first book sells so incredibly well that there will be a demand for them... and the chances for that, in re a first novel by an unknown new writer are next to nil, rare exceptions notwithstanding... touting sequels before you've sold the first book is a sure giveaway that the querier is probably a clueless newbie, which won't start you out on a good footing...
     
  7. para_noir
    Offline

    para_noir Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In the mirror
    ^ Wow....now I'm in trouble. I planned all three books in a way so that they are all connected. How do I change book one so that it can be taken as a stand-alone book? And still have enough loose ends so that a sequel can be written?
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    it's a major problem, if each one of them can't stand alone... people don't usually buy the whole set at one whack and often don't buy all of the books in a series, do they?... and they don't always buy them in sequence, either...

    that's what writers do... only you can figure out a way to make it work for your book/s...

    do the requisite research... go get some of asimov's series books and see how he deals with it, as he's probably the master of the art... another successful series writer is frank herbert, with his 'dune' epics...
     
  9. KP Williams
    Offline

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    My place
    Give it a sense of fulfillment. Have a major plot point resolved, and make it the focus of that one book. For instance, if there's a deadly virus about to be released and the villain holds the only cure, the plot point that's resolved could be that the virus's release is stopped. But the villain could escape, thus leaving you open for sequels.

    Thinking about this, I may have to rethink my own story. :(
     
  10. Smithy
    Offline

    Smithy Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure if this will help, but the way I've planned my series is that although they are a series with character continuity, they can still be read as standalone novels.

    So at the end of the first book, which I'm working on now, the antagonist is defeated and the Empire is saved, but some of the minor antagonists escape, setting up thier role in later stories, and the protagonists join a special unit to defend the Empire against similar threats in the future, said threats forming the basis of the sequels. So while I close the story with the protagonists having accomplished thier immediate goals, I also make it clear that their story isn't over yet.
     
  11. Rebekkamaria
    Offline

    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    La-la-land
    I find this advice: ”The first book must be a stand-alone novel” a bit odd. And I’m not trying to be disrespectful here, but for example none of the Harry Potter novels are stand-alones, not the first and not any in between. .

    I also know two beginner authors who got their trilogies sold. I don’t understand how it would be a lot different to have three books written (or almost written) than only one book. One of my friends had her historical series published (yes, it was difficult, but now it’s done), and she had written a lot before the actual publishing. The series was huge.

    I understand that it’s easier to sell stand-alone novels, but it’s not impossible to sell trilogies, for example. I’m just saying that write the novel(s), get a good agent, and then be patient.
     
  12. BrinkofDawn
    Offline

    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    So-Cal
    Well, I'd say look at the story as a whole, not as books, and if it's extremely long then chop it up into major events and make them books. I don't think they necessarily have to be stand alone but I don't think anyone wants to start reading a series at book three, you know? Then again, if you write the series well enough each book could be stand alone but keep in mind that you don't have to write each book that way.

    I think a good example is George Lucas and his Star Wars series. When he created the series he originally thought of it as one movie and realized it was way too big and chopped it in three, then realized it was still too big and so chopped it into six, thus the old and new trilogy (though he hadn't originally planned to film the prequel trilogy).
     
  13. InkDancer
    Offline

    InkDancer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sayville, NY
    I don't know, I'd have to disagree about the first Harry Potter. There is a definite beginning, middle, and end to that book, and Voldemort is defeated soundly by the end of it. Most of the questions raised in that book are answered, and there is a sense of closure.

    I think that's the point... you don't have to make it completely self-contained, but it needs to be a satisfying read by itself.
     
  14. Rebekkamaria
    Offline

    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    La-la-land
    Ah, okay, if stand-alone means this, then I agree. :) But for example, Rowling created all seven books (the plot, I mean), before even starting to write the first one. She knew it was going to be a seven-book-series. The first book is of course pretty stand-alone in that sense you mentioned above, but it's full of things that are left unexplained etc.

    In short, I agree that all the books have to have a satisfying end and a closure. But I don't think this only applies to beginner authors. :)
     
  15. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    of course it does... i don't know what else it could mean, so i'm puzzled by your confusion...

    and of course it applies to all writers, not just beginners... but we were dealing with a new writer issue here...
     
  16. InkDancer
    Offline

    InkDancer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sayville, NY
    It could mean that she's a native speaker of Finnish, and that the fine shades of meaning of a language are the most difficult to acquire, even for the most adept and practiced foreign language speaker. :D
     
  17. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    true, but as she says she lives in 'la-la-land' which usually means hollywood, i'd expect her to be a bit more up on writer-related terminology...

    apologies tendered herewith, if you fit id's profile in any way, bekka...

    hugs, m
     
  18. Rebekkamaria
    Offline

    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    La-la-land
    As I said, never meant to be disrespectful. :)

    This made me think that you meant something other than this:

    with a stand-alone. :) And that's why I reacted.

    And no, I'm not familiar with the writer-related terminology in English, because I've just started writing original fiction. I'm learning as I go. And it helps a lot that people here are very helpful.

    And why my location is La-la-land? It's that everywhere in the net. I don't refer to Hollywood with it (I haven't even heard that people call it that). I refer to a child-like dreamland with it. I appologize if it was somehow misguiding.

    Thank you, InkDancer. You're a doll. :)


    And here's the defenition of standalone (wikipedia):

     
  19. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    'la-la-land' is a loooooongtime nickname for hollywood... i'd guess you must be quite young, if you haven't heard it... it probably came about from LA being the short name for los angeles, which was the center of movie-making...
     
  20. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Along with the reputation LA has for large numbers of vapid airheads ("Lalalalala,,,").
     
  21. Rebekkamaria
    Offline

    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    La-la-land
    I guess I'm very young. I'm thirty-one. :)

    I found these explanations for the word from Urban Dictionary:


    Mine would be referring to the first one, mostly. It started when my husband said that I live in La-la-land where all the Johannas live who don't look at the world like rest of the people do.

    /End of OT
     
  22. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    yup!... at least compared to me, whose 7 kids are all older and most of 'em way older...

    i guess only us'ns who write screenplays would think of hollywood first... ;-)
     
  23. Rebekkamaria
    Offline

    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    La-la-land
    Yup, that is why I said I'm young. :) And it's just wonderful to have you here. My mother (62) could be considered one of my best friends, and she's everywhere in the net. :)
     

Share This Page