Today I’m talking about writing a sequel! As part of Calling All Critiques I’m also sharing the book cover for Toils and Snares, a YA and up-Apocalyptic Science Fiction novella by Robert L. Slater. If you have some time, stop by and leave your feedback!
One of my beta readers said something that got me thinking. After she finished reading one of my novels, she made this comment: “I loved the ending because you left some room there in case you wanted to write a sequel.”
Say what now, sugar?
A sequel? Writing the first one was difficult enough! The thought of a sequel hadn’t even crossed my mind, but soon after she made that comment, I ran across a blog post (I can’t remember where) titled something along the lines of “Why your butt should be writing a sequel.”
The author mentioned it being a smart business move for authors, especially if readers are so invested in the characters that they want to see more stories about them. I have to say that I do agree with that—if an author can successfully write another book with the same characters that is just as good if not better than the first book, then why not?
But let’s talk, folks. Should we be writing a sequel just for the sake of writing a sequel? I have seen—I won’t name books here—unnecessary cliff hangers (or book endings so bad they make you want to slap somebody) just so an author can continue the story in another book. I won’t even mention the book that a close friend of mine read recently where most of the characters died at the end of the story for no apparent reason. The author’s rationale? He was setting up the sequel. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
I think if we do write sequels it should be worth the reader’s time and just as entertaining as the first book, right? Or am I romanticizing here?
So recently, I started thinking about one of my own projects. I think that I raised enough questions in the first book to explore another set of characters in a second book, but I would only do that if I felt the story would be satisfying to a reader.
What about others? Are you writing a sequel? Have you read books that had an unsatisfying ending and realized that it was because the author was trying to set up a sequel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!