Happy Friday! Casey here.
It invariably happens each time I write a new story – I face the same question. Do I leave room for a sequel?
An important question to consider because starting and sustaining a series takes planning. Of course there are famous exceptions – those surprise literary hits, where clearly the story was supposed to end, but the lure of cash was too great to ignore. And in movies, sudden sequelitis happens all the time. Sometimes it works and sometimes, not. Please, no more Pirates of the Caribbean movies (I do love Johnny Depp but even he can’t save a bad script).
In order to have a potential sequel, you need to prepare the reader. Depending on the plot, I may introduce a secondary character early on and carry them through, as either part of the main plot or in their own subplot. By the last third of the book, I set the ground work for the future – the next book in the series.
As discussed in last Friday’s post, executing the next book isn’t always easy. One thing I can tell you – it’s a lot easier to plan ahead. Have some ideas for potential sequels and map how they might fit into the overall world you’re building. Future planning comes in handy, especially when pitching to editors. They might ask you to send the concept for the next two books in the series.
So think like a Boy Scout – be prepared.
Do you like sequels? When do they work? And when don’t they work? And are there any series that need to call it quits?