1. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    Writing a sequel....

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Crystal Parney, Nov 2, 2012.

    Hi Everyone. I left the end of my first book open for a sequel (although I did tie up my main plot). I want to start on a sequel, but I feel a little lost. I have some ideas, but I am no where near an entire plot outline. Does anyone have any advice on writing sequels?

    Thanks, Crystal
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my best advice is to save yourself a lot of wasted time and energy by waiting to see if you can sell the first book and have it become a major bestseller... if that doesn't happen, a sequel will be just so much wasted time, energy, and paper...

    work on a stand alone new book, instead...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    When one of my scripts was in serious development I decided to write a sequel that would be ready to go after production. I wanted to expand on the story but not repeat it. I didn't keep any of the characters except for the antagonist, because to me that was the only part I wanted to keep working with; it was the only part I found interesting enough to keep following. Then I got carried away and created something that was far, far removed from the original concept, and far, far bigger, but could stand on it's own. Now it is good by itself and is only vaguely linked to the original (and I like it much more).

    I mention this because the main question should be: why do you need a sequel? What part of the story, or what elements, motivate you to continue? Is it the main character. Is it the location. Is it unfinished business. This is the key to finding the story; finding your desire. Many sequels are a simple repetition of the story; you make the same meal again because you liked the last one. But maybe you want to make another prawn meal, but do it completely differently. You may want to end up with something that is a sequel but can also stand on it's own. The best thing about this is, you won't need to worry about selling the first book. You might even sell the second, first.
     
  4. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    Thanks for the advice Maia and Selbbin. I've already sold the first book (it was released Oct. 15th) and readers are contacting me asking when the next book comes out. I didn't want to put that in the initial message because I didn't want it to seem like I was using the site to market my book.

    Selbbin, thanks so much! I would like to write the sequeal to stand on its own, but bring elements of the first book in as well. I've read to always make sure a sequel can be read without a reader reading the first book. I want the second book to be as exciting as the first book, but in its own way.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    congrats on your sale... but if you sold the first book to a traditional [paying] publisher, they're the ones you should be asking about sequels...
     
  6. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    Hi Maia, I know. I was just asking for inspirational advice from other writers.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    If you're excited about returning to the characters, or unique world you've created definitely
    go for it. Especially if you've got an audience demmanding more- Lucky you!

    I tried working on a sequel but liked where I ended it - in a Scarlet O'Hara tomorrow-
    -is-another-day-where-everythings-up-in-the-air way.

    Selbbin gave some great tips on trying to locate the whys of why do a sequel.
    For me the main reason I never wanted to do a sequel is because most of the
    relationships were already established. You have to really see if you want to expand on
    a relationship or shake-it-up ( this always seems to be a pattern for
    movie sequels - Jewel of the Nile, Zorro, even Mission Impossible - the temporary break up! )
    This is of course if you're continuing with the hero's story or picking up a thread
    from a minor character and allowing the hero/heroine to become the secondary
    characters. You could also explore some ideas you might've ditched from the
    first story due to page count. Which I've done in the past. The main thing is
    to nail done who's story this will be and what will be the new goal.

    The one book and sequel that I recall reading off the top of my head
    was the Poseidon Adventure - don't laugh it was good! - and Beyond
    the Poseidon Adventure - way better than the movie. First one was about
    a group of survivors trying to escape a sinking ship that had flipped
    upside down. The sequel was several survivors and a crew of scavengers
    going back in to salvage some jewels. New characters, a few old, new
    plot, new goal, same location and in a way same familiar pattern. They
    too were under a time limit. I think that's what I loved best about it was
    that it was familiar but still different.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Depends - are you still inspired by your characters, loose story ends and/or premise? Is there anything you'd love to develop upon but simply didn't have time in the first book? I think if there's really a sequel developing, you'll know about it - don't write one just because the fans are asking for it. Sometimes a good thing should be left alone, and allowed to remain as it is. Look at Pirates of the Caribbean! (I know it's not a book, but the sequels after the original were terrible)

    Of course if you feel you can make a half-decent book regardless of whether you "feel" a sequel, and it won't harm your reputation whatever you write, then why not. You have guaranteed sales anyway and it'll make you more money. Some people are ok with that, and why not, we all want to make money after all.

    I considered writing a sequel for mine because I had a loose end in one of my side-plots for my side character. My world changed at the end of my MS due to the ending. I had a premise for a sequel. But in the end I decided against it because I feel uninspired by it - well, truth be told, I'm bored of it by now and would really rather write something else. Don't try to write a book that you're uninspired by - it'd be a long and torturous road, else a lot of wasted time.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if the book you're asking about writing a sequel to is 'beyond gavia' then you really should wait to see how it sells... how many books have been sold in pb and as kindle so far?... at $18 for a paperback, i wouldn't think it could sell well in print, so hopefully, it will do better as an e-book...

    secondly, if it does do well enough to risk a sequel, i strongly suggest you avoid using your present publisher for it, since it has a 'Stongly not recommended.' listing on p&e [ http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/pebw.htm ]... their $500 contract buyout penalty, in particular, is troubling and they are not responding to a BBB claim... plus, overpricing their pb's won't get it to bestseller status... hopefully, your contract does not forcy you to use them for any future books...

    best of luck with your first one...

    hugs, m
     
  10. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    Hi Maia, thank you for the advice. Same thing my mom said!
     
  11. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    yeah I just seen your publishers website I would try to get a better publisher before deciding on a sequel as I just read their submissions page on their web site seems odd they expect you to do the promotion and marketing for your book. best thing maybe to write a new stand alone novel and find a better publisher
     
  12. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    Thank you Steve...and Maia. I have alot to think about here.
     

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