View Full Version : The Dos and Don'ts of Writing Sequels

August 29th, 2007, 12:35 PM
If you have watched sequels or third installments to great movies like "Spiderman" and "Shrek," you'll know that the presence of the movies just seems to be getting more weaker and weaker with each sequel.

But, there are sometimes, when you have no choice but to make a sequel, like the "Pirates of the Carribean" series. Currently, it's a three-part story, that still might have a continuation because of it's cliffhanger-ending.

So, when writing fanfics, how do you know when writing a sequel that readers will feel comfortable in would be a good idea? 'Cause an author can't always go for the feeling of not ending a story that they love. Trust me, I've been there, and believe me, even if you don't want it to end, the main story is over, and just making a continuation just seems to be harder than starting from scratch.

So, here are the dos and don'ts of writing sequels, and when and when not to write sequels.

First of all, knowing when to write a sequel.

1) If the original story ends at a cliffhanger, where a continuation will be required, like the ending of the second "Pirates of the Caribean" movie, where it's like the end of a chapter, then yes, you are allowed to write a sequel. Just make it as or more exciting than the first/previous one.

2) If there are many plotholes in the story, write a sequel as a pre-quel to fill in those blank spots, and find a good way to write it. A memoir, a story from the present talking about the past, and incorporate the present characters within the story as well. Almost like the story being told like a bedtime story. Between parts of the past and main story, when you think it's necessary, insert a small scene from the present, like the parent and child talking about the story, the child asking the parent questions, and don't make it limited to two sentances. Make a whole paragraph or two if you have to. It's okay, so long as it's not too long. Make it believable. Think about the times when your parents used to tell you bedtime stories, and how you asked questions that interrupted the story. How your parents always lost their spot because you kept on asking what happens, or who was that person in the story.

3) NEVER GO FOR ONE-SHOT SEQUELS! That's like writing a short for the end of the movie, or a single chapter as an epilogue for your first story! Always go for a minimum of 10 chapters for a 20-chaptered previous story.

4) Bring back old characters. If it is a sequel, then somehow incorporate the first story and it's characters. An example is that the new characters are two of the old characters' children, and they're following their parents' footsteps to save the world or go on a life-changing journey. Go with whatever your gut tells you.

5) DON'T BE A WUSS WHEN WRITING A SEQUEL! A sequel is no different from the original. Don't back out on things that might seem over-the-top, or you don't feel like writing because it leaves you at an uncomfortable state. Go with your first thoughts, unless you know for sure that the readers won't like it.

6) And finally, WRITE FROM THE HEART! Don't write because someone asked you to and you don't want to! Write only if you want to continue it, and when you want to, write what YOU want, not what your READERS want. Surprise them with something that you think will be better than what they want. And be sure to take a break every now and then, just to leave your readers hanging on those cliffhangers for a moment...

That's it! Hope this is useful to you fanfic writers! Hope to see how you guys do!


September 12th, 2007, 11:57 AM
I'm actually hoping to make a sequel to the doujinshi revision of my old fic (yes, I've got things that far planned ahead). While I am intending to make both the plot to the predecessor and the sequel work as their own stand-alone plots, I'm also planning to have them connect with one another (a point which you seem to have forgotten to bring up... though #2 seems to bring up the idea of leaving stuff explained in a prequel, it's not the same). When I end the first series, I plan to purposely leave a few loose ends to be taken care of in the sequel (and the sequel, likewise, will of course have a number of things based on past events which can only be fully explained by reading the predecessor).

Interesting thing about #3: I actually intended for that at first. It was really just gonna be a short plot involving the characters' children that'd only last a few chapters (I mainly came up with this because most of my storylines are pretty dark, and I felt I could use something more light-hearted and involving younger characters). However, over the past few months, I've recently thought of ways that I could expand on this concept, until I eventually turned it into a full-fledged series that's as serious and as thought-provoking as its predecessor (while at the same time differentiating itself from the first one by focusing on separate themes).

October 30th, 2007, 5:03 AM
Speaking of sequels, I intend to get writing PMD2 in early 2008 when the English version of Time Exploration comes out.