Dramaquill's All Things Writing

February 10, 2009

The Sequel – should I or shouldn’t I?

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I’m finished my adult suspense novel.  It’s been workshopped through my online critique group, read and critiqued by a couple writing friends and professionally critiqued by a published author from the same genre.

So now I’m crafting my query letter and getting ready for the first round of subbing.  I’m going to try agents first and see if I get any requests.  After that, I’ll target some publishers I’ve been collecting that seem suited to my book’s genre.

But something inside tells me the story isn’t over yet.  (In order not to spoil the ending of the first book, I can’t elaborate at this time.)

So I’ve begun a sequel.  Interestingly, it’s much easier to write than the first book.  I know the characters so well they feel like old friends.  The setting is comfortable and I can picture everything as if I’d lived there myself.

But I’ve read a lot of articles and posts that indicate publishers are not all that jazzed about sequels, especially from first-time authors.

So what to do, right?

Well, I’m going to run with this sequel idea and see where it takes me. 

What am I not going to do?

I’m definitely not going to mention it when I query agents and/or publishers regarding the first book. 

But I’m going to write it.  I feel the same adrenaline rush of brainstorming start to flow when I open up the sequel document as I did when I worked on the original book. 

I have no idea what will happen with the sequel.  Maybe half-way through I’ll run out of ideas and stop.  Maybe I’ll resolve things for myself by writing more for these characters and decide that I’m happy knowing the “rest of the story” but that it doesn’t qualify for a second book.


Maybe I’ll have a second book ready when that agent or editor asks.

Sequels have a lot to live up to.  Look at the movies.  How many times have you seen “name of movie” 2 and thought, “That wasn’t as good as the first one.”

But many kidlit writers have found sequels to be their claim to fame.  Look at the Twilight series – kids are devouring it right now.  JK Rowling didn’t have trouble selling six sequels to the original HP book.

All I know is that I will definitely have to be honest and ask myself one question when I finish this 2nd book:  Is it as good as the first one?

If I can truly answer “yes”, then maybe I just might have something.

How many of you have a sequel brewing?  What are you going to do about yours?

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