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All Things Writing > Sequels?

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message 1: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
Hey all, I was just interested to see how many people here are writing a series? How many books do you plan to be in your series? And did you plan them all out to begin with? Or just go with it?

And if you're not writing a series, what made you decide against it?

Mine has a total of five books, which I had planned out from the beginning before I even started writing them. I have a sketch of each book. How about you guys?

(ps I tried looking to see if there was a topic like this already, but didn't see one, so sorry if its a duplicate!)


message 2: by G.G. (last edited Nov 18, 2013 09:21PM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
I didn't plan on writing a series. It just happened. I have two books written at the moment. How many will there be? Since they have their own individual ending, I have no clue; my main character hasn't told me yet. :p


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Ray (mcray) Yes! We've just published the first book in what will be a series of seven. Each book will be independent of the others, though. They're related thematically, but the stories take place in very different times and places (basically, it's pivotal points in modern history tied together with a recurring fantasy element). When the idea first came to us, there was no way we were going to put this aside. We haven't mapped out the plots of the upcoming books in detail, but we know the settings and the overall arc of the series.

And as if that weren't already too ambitious, we're hoping to alternate each of these books with unrelated books from our backlog of unwritten ideas.

This is going to be fun.


message 4: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Barnes | 86 comments Mine did not start as a series. Each time I rewrote Obsession over the years it kept getting longer. Then someone asked me why a character was the way he was and all of a sudden I have 4 books. I planned on stopping there, but I have a secret.... There is one more with the possibility of another. We'll see. :)


message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 390 comments I'm writing a trilogy. I planned it that way from the start. I have written and rewritten the opening portion of it over and over. It is actually based off a vivid dream I had one night. When I decided to finish the story, I realized that there were a lot of interesting things that I would be leaving out if I started when the dream sequence began. That turned into the first book in the series. The dream sequence is near the beginning of the second book. The third book is another layer I added to the tale because the story doesn't feel finished after the ending I have planned in the second book.


message 6: by Ren (new)

Ren Alexander (ren_alexander) | 12 comments Mine has four, so far. I actually wrote three of them consecutively, not realizing I was writing so much. Oops. LOL


message 7: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
Ah that sounds like me! I wrote the first one as a prequel and it was intended to be one book in two parts, but it ended up being a full story by itself.


message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
@G.G. Oh that's cool :) I also have two books written but not yet published. Haha I love it. It's true the character does totally write the story ;)


@Michael: Congrats! That's so great. Of seven! Holy cow. Oooh theme related. That sounds very interesting. Sounds like fun!


@Heidi: haha sometimes it happens that way. I've been there too with other book ideas. Secrets are great ;) Us writers have lots of secrets, haha. And its like we're all addicted, once we start writing we can't stop! Can't wait to see what your secret is one day :)


message 9: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
@Brian: Oh one of those wonderful dream inspired books, so jealous! I wish it came that easy for me! That sounds very intriguing :)


@Ren: four is a good number :) Hahaha how wonderful that you just flew thew the first three books ;)


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Pearce (michaeltinkerpearce) | 91 comments Writing our novel it became apparent that there would be sequels. We've already done a novella and the second novel is already partly written, but we're taking a break to write a SciFi novel.


message 11: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Rivera | 14 comments My first book will be released next year. It stands alone, but I've thought of a wonderful way to write the villain in a prequel. But I have to finish a Science Fiction Trilogy I'm working on right now trying to write them all as one book them break them up--by the end of the year.
I knew from the get go this story would be a trilogy, I just didn't know it would be so difficult to carry the fantastic events from my head to paper.


message 12: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
A Dance With Fury is meant as a stand alone, however there could be a sequel but I'm gonna see if anyone wants it before I write it. The world has a complex history, I like that kinda thing in fictional universes and that's why I created it :3 #FanGirlKnows


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner I was contracted for an 8 episode series that may or may not expand, depending on how it is received. At first, I felt rather overwhelmed by the idea, but I've come to enjoy it.


message 14: by Molly (new)

Molly Mortensen (mollymortensen) | 25 comments I only planned to write one book, but then I had too many ideas to fit in one, so I decided on a trilogy. Now I'm fairly certain it will take at least five books to use all the adventures I have planned and I have ideas for prequels too. haha!


message 15: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner Sequels are so much more fun, anyway. It gives more opportunity for the characters to evolve and the worlds to grow.


message 16: by J. David (new)

J. David Clarke (clarketacular) | 418 comments I am currently working on the third volume in a trilogy, and the first volume in a quadrilogy. (yes I am insane lol) The trilogy was always planned that way, and in fact I now think there will be three more volumes drawn from that series, in a kind of "From the World Of..." sense. The quadrilogy was also always planned that way.

Curiously, my NaNoWriMo project was conceived as a stand alone novel (which is why I picked it for NaNo), but now I feel there might be a sequel of sorts, drawing on a few characters from the current book. Next year's NaNo maybe??


message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
@Misses Congrats! Ooh prequels are always awesome ways to extend the story ;) Haha the ideas are always clearer in the head.

@Bisky Oooh very interesting. I have a sneaking suspicion that the people will want more ;)


@Mark How exciting!


@James J. woohoo for five. That's my magic number ;) It's a good number ^^


@Molly Nothing wrong with that! Haha :)


@Mark Very true. It's always fun growing with the characters and world. Keeps readers invested for a long time.


@J That sounds complex haha but very worth it :)


message 18: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments After I wrote my first novel, I immediately thought, Ooh! This could keep going!! But I pulled on the reigns. I didn't want to write more. Not until a publisher wanted the first one:) So I let book two simmer for many months. The day I got a bite on my ms, I wrote book two. Book three has a rough outline in my head & a killer beginning all planned out.


message 19: by Rick (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments I'm finishing the third book in my Rock Series of books that include The Rock Star, The Singer, and The Stage. The three books started as a single book that was looking so long that I split it apart into the three, which if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have done. The reason being is that too many independent authors are writing in a series of books, and I've found in reading some of them that they just leave you hanging, with almost no resolution to the story, which as a reader is irritating. So I think taking characters from one book to the next is great, like Repairman Jack, Agent Pendergast, Jack Reacher, or many others, but I think the characters should be involved in stories that are complete within their own context. Yes, before you point out that the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy is completely awesome, there are some books that can be carried through a trilogy and do it very well, but that doesn't mean that every book should be carried into a series. When i finish my series I plan on taking the three books in it and wrap them up into one twelve hundred page novel, and then from that point I'm not going to do any more series, just complete books with the same characters.


message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments @rick I agree that characters & plots should ultimately stand alone. I don't care for books that leave so much undone or unanswered questions about everything! When I wrote my book, I sold it as a stand alone book. But there is one unanswered question, not a string of them, that leads to another book. I tried not to hook the reader into a lead in for book two until the very last scene:)


message 21: by Rick (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments Last line throws to new books are pretty common in a good sequence of novels and i think those work. It's when a story stops dead in what seems like the middle of a thought or sequence that I get upset as a reader. I like a series of books with the same characters, because getting to know the characters help you get further into the individual stories, but the stories themselves need to have some sort of resolution and then the push into the next one isn't so harsh.


message 22: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 390 comments I know exactly what you guys mean. I have read a few book 1's where they don't even try to complete any part of the story. I tried to craft my first book to have it's own conflict and resolution while introducing the conflict that encompasses the entire series. Each book in a series should be able to stand on its own.


message 23: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner Rick wrote: "Last line throws to new books are pretty common in a good sequence of novels and i think those work. It's when a story stops dead in what seems like the middle of a thought or sequence that I get ..."

Rick, I'm with you on that one. A smooth transition to the next sequel is very important to me. If a book has kept my attention to it's last page, I at least expect that episode to have some semblance of completion, or it aggrivates the tar out of me.


message 24: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments My last scene isn't earth shattering or plot changing, just for the record;-) It plants the perfect seed for readers to want more from these characters. PS...I love my characters!! I think readers will want to journey with them on more action/adventures!


message 25: by J (new)

J | 301 comments Mod
The first novel I 'finished' became a series I planned to span 5 books, but I stopped in the middle of the 4th one.

I gave up on writing it because it was too complex, I began losing track of what's what and who's where--and then I started going back and forth making changes---it just became a colossal disaster---so I scrapped it, but I plan to salvage the main, main characters and recreate a standalone novel. :3

A problem with trilogies or series is that after a novel is 'published' you can't really go back and make changes--I guess you can write the entire trilogy and then publish the first book, but I'm guessing nobody wants to wait that long to publish.

The novel I'm working on now I plan to be standalone, but I will leave the capability of a sequel. The ending will be partially open-ended, but I will try to allude to or foreshadow the characters' future. :3


message 26: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner Josh wrote: "The first novel I 'finished' became a series I planned to span 5 books, but I stopped in the middle of the 4th one.

I gave up on writing it because it was too complex, I began losing track of what..."


Josh, another fun thing you can do with favored characters in either a series or standalone is to write a completely different story with them that ties in to the other stories in some way, such as vague references to the same towns or events. It connects a huge universe for the writer an provides endless themes to put your characters in.


message 27: by Rick (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments That's what I did with my Novellas they make references to thing I talk about in the main novels, but stand alone all by themselves.


message 28: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 390 comments @Josh I keep a character sheet for each of my main characters that helps me keep track of everything. I jot notes on the character sheet to remind myself of plotlines, where they are, what they are doing, etc.. It helps a lot with keeping everything straight.


message 29: by Rick (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments Brian I make a spreadsheet with height, weight, eye color, job, car, where they live, and a specific detail or two that makes them an individual... And then I have an outline to make sure all the characters and story work they way they're supposed to


message 30: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Nicole - Haha we'll see :p The story is there ready and waiting ;]


message 31: by J (new)

J | 301 comments Mod
@Mark - The new story will definitely have references from it! :3 The past stories allow me to have plenty of character knowledge that I can utilize in the new story.
@Rick/Brian - Those are ideas I'll try to keep in mind for future use. :3

@Bisky/Nicole - It's always good to have a sequel story in mind---just in case! :3


message 32: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
Josh wrote: "@Mark - The new story will definitely have references from it! :3 The past stories allow me to have plenty of character knowledge that I can utilize in the new story.
@Rick/Brian - Those are idea..."


Very true! ;)


message 33: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "I know exactly what you guys mean. I have read a few book 1's where they don't even try to complete any part of the story. I tried to craft my first book to have it's own conflict and resolution ..."

I def agree with this. It's just bad storytelling otherwise, I think.


message 34: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Michelle | 450 comments Mod
Josh wrote: "The first novel I 'finished' became a series I planned to span 5 books, but I stopped in the middle of the 4th one.

I gave up on writing it because it was too complex, I began losing track of what..."


That's very interesting. I understand what you mean though haha my timelines and 'threading' sheets and outlines are my godsend. I need them, i can't live without them! lol

That's true too about the trilogies and have recently thought about how if i published the first novel how I would never be able ti chance it if need be xp And I have gone back and changed it before…who's to say it won't happen again?

Good luck on your current novel :)


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