5 Reasons Why Not To Write A Sequel

Now that the initial flurry of publishing Above Ground has died down (and the subsequent post-publication I-hate-my-writing stage has passed) my thoughts have turned to writing the sequel.

Ideas keep bubbling. The excitement is returning. What can I do to the characters THIS time? How can I raise the stakes? How can I give the readers who’ve enjoyed Above Ground more of what they love?

And yet…

Even though I’ve jotted down every idea and drafted a rough outline, I cannot bring myself to sit down and begin writing.

It took me over three years to write Above Ground. In that time, I’ve learned where I went wrong. I’ve learned how to write better and faster. I’ve learned that I CAN write a novel.

But what I haven’t yet learned is if I can write ANOTHER novel. A sequel doesn’t count: it’s the same characters I love, the same stories, the same threads.

Can I write something unrelated? Can I build a new world and fall in love with a new cast of characters?

The idea of starting afresh terrifies me.

And yet…

5 Reasons Why Not To Write A Sequel

  1. Only people who like Above Ground will want to read the sequel.

  2. Diversifying my offerings will introduce my work to new readers.

  3. Creating a new world, plot and cast will improve my skills.

  4. It will prove that I can write unrelated novels.

  5. Most importantly, because it terrifies me.

Yes, those waiting for the sequel will most likely throw rocks at me. But I believe that a writer who only sticks to writing what they find comfortable will never grow. And I want to be the best writer I can be.

And when I do go back to write the sequel to Above Ground, the story will be all the better for it.

5 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Not To Write A Sequel

  1. I think everyone could take a lesson from Stephen King when it comes to sequels. Doctor Sleep, due out this year, is his sequel to The Shining (first published in 1977). Doctor Sleep isn’t just a rehash of The Shining. It’s a completely different story that features one main character from The Shining, and yet the events of The Shining have so defined who this character is as a person that you feel the echoes of that novel in everything the character does. I really can’t wait to be able to discuss this book with other readers.

    So, this is my long winded way of saying, a sequel will be written when it is time to write the sequel. :)

  2. I think it’s great that you want to challenge yourself by writing something new :-) Just think about how much you’ve learned about telling stories since you first started writing Above Ground! Will be exciting to see you put all of that into something new and fresh, and as you say, it will mean the sequel will be better for it.
    Have fun!

  3. I think most readers will feel a twinge of disappointment at waiting longer to read more of a story they enjoy. In saying that however, they already know you as an author they like to read, and so most of them would also look forward to reading another novel too.

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