Made in America

How to Write a Sequel – Three Easy Tips

Writing a book is no easy task, so writing a sequel to your book could seem next to impossible. That is, until today. In this blog post, we’re offering you three helpful tips to point you in the right direction to begin writing your book’s sequel.

Start somewhere

Perhaps, the most difficult aspect of writing a sequel is in determining where to begin. However, when it comes to writing a sequel, you actually have less work to do because you’ve already set the scene in your first book. The opening chapter of your sequel should, in essence, pick up where you left off in your first book’s closing pages. You’ve already introduced your protagonist and antagonist, so work to weave the storylines seamlessly into one.

What’s considered too much?

There will be some attention-to-detail and some extra thought needed in order to connect the dots between your first book and its sequel. So the question is, “How much is too much?” When you’re sitting down to write a sequel, think of your first book as essentially this book’s backstory, and use that as a guiding force that points the way for this second book. You’ll want to start with a predominantly clean slate but keep some important details from your first book to help you tie together any loose ends. Keep the idea of context in mind when infusing pieces of your first book into your second. Don’t force anything to try to create cohesion. Keep it natural and fluid and try your best to keep your first book in the back of your mind, not in the forefront. Remember, this is the next part of the adventure, not a retelling.

Focus on the similarities and differences

When writing a sequel, keep in mind the similarities between your two books as well as the differences. Let’s first start with the similarities. Obviously, there has to be room for opportunity to build off of the storyline of the first book in order to elicit the start of a brand-new book. If your readers loved what they read in your first book, you’ll want to capitalize on that momentum and look at the same subject matter, just in a different light. Here’s where the differences come into play: Your sequel has the opportunity to one up your first book. Take advantage of what’s already been written and expand on that storyline in a different, edgier manner. Remember that both books are their own so they should have their own individual nuances that make them unique while keeping the reader engrossed in the evolving story of your primary characters.

Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2017

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