Adventures in Sequeland

Since I finished writing the novel on Friday, I spent the weekend feeling grumpy and aimless. This is what happens when I have nothing occupying my brain. Without a story to focus on and no freelance projects on the horizon, I am a woman adrift.

I could get back to my  NaNoWriMo novel, but that poor thing is a giant mess. Then there is that trashy teen novel that I started writing sometime in the spring. But that isn’t pulling enough of my attention either. So instead I’m beginning to jot down ideas for a sequel to the book I just finished.

At some point in the writing process, I realized that I wanted to have a part 2 and possibly a part 3 to this story, and I already set up a few things in the original that I could expand on in a sequel. I spent a little time worrying whether or not it’s even worth it to start working on a sequel when I have no idea if the original is going to sell, but this is the perfect time to start working on it.

1) I’m absolutely finished with the original story

2) The story and the characters are still alive in my mind

3) The story definitely lends itself to a sequel

4) I don’t have any other projects going on

Some might worry that working on  a sequel before selling the original is a waste of time. The truth is,a second story will never stand a chance if it relies heavily on the original, but there are ways to get around that. Also you may feel that it’s wasted writing, but no writing is wasted. It’s like violin practice. It’ll make you better.

However, there are some caveats to writing a sequel that you should know.

a) A sequel needs to stand on its own

b) It needs to give just enough background about the situation/characters/setting to bring a new reader up to speed, without boring comeback readers

The reason for “a” and “b” is because an editor might like the sequel better than the original and publish that first. Also, if they’re both published, a reader might pick up the second before the first.

So I’m off to new adventures in Sequeland. Man, I love trying new things!