On Sequels


So, although I’ve only just finished NaNoWriMo, and have a whole novel in the process of being beta-read, I’ve already started the sequel, and I’m kind of excited about it. I’ve never started a sequel before, and I’m 2000 words in already. I’m hoping it will be around 60 000 words, but we’ll see how that goes.

So far, I think the majority of my first 2000 words are reiterating what happened in the first novel so that readers who may have read the first one several months before can recall what events took place. I think this is somewhat normal for the opening of the next book of a series, but I don’t think I’ll spend much more time going over old ground. I’ll have to keep you all updated on my progress.

The one thing I’m worried about in this one is the story arc. I’m used to writing story arcs for a single novel or novella, but this time, the planning has to reach beyond this novel and into the next, as I am planning this to be a trilogy. My first series!

Since I haven’t had a lot of experience with writing a trilogy, I’m going to have to tell you all how that goes. Right now, I’m mostly worried about planning how this goes. My characters have a bit of a tendency to get away with me and do things of their own, which is rather problematic for the planning side of things. Herding them back in the direction they’re meant to be can be something of a challenge.

What I’m really using for my writing is the type of literary structure I was taught to find in school to pick apart. That’s where my English major skills are coming in handy, but that’s not the only thing I’m drawing on. I’m also thinking of the way J.K. Rowling created seven books in sequence which all knit up so smoothly. Her Harry Potter arc was put together skillfully with events throughout that related to one another.

The other thing is, I’m really worried about my first novel, which is finished its first draft, which is a very bare-bones draft. I’ll have to do a lot of revision and fleshing out, so that might change a few things in the later novel. It has to have a good foundation to build the rest of my trilogy, so I’m hoping that my beta-readers will be able to find any weaknesses in my work so I can fix them.

Anyway, that’s my news for today. If anyone else here has written a series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to construct a trilogy.