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24

I think the main thing you need to do is figure out what tropes are connected to coming back from the dead, and which of those you want to avoid. This TVTropes page might help. Keep in mind that a common trope need not necessarily be boring - they're common because they're popular. That being said, there's a lot of overused ideas in connection to ...


22

Tension is caused by reader's wanting to know "what happens next". The MC survives in nearly every novel, in fact the MC dies so infrequently that people don't like those novels. They assume your MC will survive. Tension is created by situations in which the reader isn't sure what is going to happen, the solution to whatever dilemma is happening on ...


20

It's Probably a Good Idea! Having followed a number of your questions, I have to say that until you get a literary success with a series, you don't need to stress too much about producing a sequel. Once you are recognized and followed for a series, you may not want to disappoint fans. In the meanwhile, a completely different storyline is an opportunity to ...


17

As has been pointed out, there are no "rules" stopping you from having a sequel starting within the time frame of another book in the series. "The Horse and His Boy" takes place wholly within the last few chapters of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe", for example. Thinking like a reader, if I loved a book and its ...


16

What you are describing is a cliffhanger. It is an ending that is clearly not an ending. The name comes from the idea of an ending where the protagonist is hanging from a cliff, with no clear sign of rescue - it sets up a direct sequel with no time gap. Cliffhangers are usually used in serials. The story is not meant to be over when you reach the ...


14

The first book needs to end. The problem isn't the sequel starting mid-sentence, it's that the first book needs to feel like you've landed the plane. The big issues opened in Book 1, all need satisfying resolves. There can be hanging threads but the major conflict, and the major character arcs must feel complete. Mary Robinette Kowal teaches a story ...


13

Yes, it is indeed possible, especially because it is your own creation. Whatever you do to your characters, and whether you decree it canon or not, is up to you as an author. Such a non-canon story would count as a "side story" or some sort of bonus. If someone else wrote that non-canon piece, people would call it "fanfiction." You're ...


8

This is a novice mistake. If the worst thing you can think to do to a character is kill them, you're not thinking hard enough. There are all sorts of ways to get hurt. Love, family, friends, status, and property are but a few things that can be lost or threatened. Tension is conflict, and conflict can be found at all scales, tiny and large. Tension, A ...


8

Have a new story to tell. If you haven't planned out your overall story as a series from the beginning (that is, you deliberately set it up to be three, five, seven, etc. books), and you're just writing an additional story with the same characters, then make sure you have a reason to write something about them. Your sequel should have a beginning, middle, ...


8

A "sequel" that takes place during the events of its predecessor is called a midquel (or more precisely, an "intraquel"). In your case, only the first 25% of your second book is intraquel, but the point is: not only is this allowed, but it's so common there's even a term for it. To give you another example, that's probably more relevant to your own story: ...


7

Most people work with the thought in mind that their piece of writing will go on to be well received, and more success will come based around that, so will leave doors open for sequels. However, nobody wants to read an incomplete book. Therefore you will usually find that most things will wrap up quite well at the end, and most plot points will be handled ...


7

It is possible, but it depends on the story As other answers have noted, a book needs to end properly. The exceptions are arbitrarily-divided books like Lord of the Rings, or books from a series where you choose to use cliffhangers to link the volumes. How to end a book: what you need to do is to have an ending that works as such, but with a new story that, ...


7

Writers have told me that for my stories believability follows understandability. If the ‘what happens’ is something that is explained and makes sense in the story, then people will believe it and accept it. So, if your character is actually thought to be dead at the end of the first book, but really was alive, and that was important to the story, then in ...


6

Check with your publisher and specifically with the editor who worked with you during final polish to see what they think. That editor is probably intimate with the subject matter of your story and simultaneously may have a more current, less emotional view on its suitability for continuation. They may also have insights into the marketability of a sequel ...


6

Disclaimer: I am not a novel writer, but I am a screenplay writer and I think the same principles apply. The key to sequels is thinking about the question What is my character's ambition in life? If the character's ambition in life has not been resolved, then there is still more story to tell. The ambition of a main character is different than a regular ...


6

Normally a book is a complete story in and of itself. When it ends, there's a conclusion, a drawing-together, and a natural pause. If you want to re-visit these characters or this place again, it feels natural to give them all a chance to recover and whatnot, or wait for another calamity to befall the land, before you send them off again. You may need some ...


6

It depends! Dusting hands off with a smile of satisfaction. Ah, you ask, "Upon what?" Mostly upon what you as the writer want to do. Where you want to take your characters. How you want to explore the theme(s) in your writing. How you want the reader to feel at the end as well as along the way. It is quite possible to write a whole series of books ...


5

It depends on your character arcs Switching POVs to a secondary character is actually incredibly common in romance series. Each book completes the romantic arc of a single couple, and then the sequels pick up secondary characters from the earlier novels and give them romantic arcs as well. There are, of course, plenty of romance series with multi-book ...


5

Taking your question on its face, I'd say: No, it's not a sequel, but a shared title would be appropriate. What classifies as a sequel? a published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one. That's straight from the dictionary. In your question, you state: the stories share no characters, locations ...


4

You are overthinking this, and getting out ahead of yourself. If your first book is a hit, your publisher will like insist on marketing the second as a sequel if it has any relationship to the first at all. If not, you'll be able to position it as you wish. However, there's some advantage to signalling the audience that this is a shared world --...


4

If I’m understanding you correctly, you have a female character – who is not an MC right now, but a strong secondary character. This character in current WIP is of the Ambassador personality type. Typically this type is described as: Ambassadors will be positive about any change and will be highly aligned, however they will not proactively try to ...


4

Tension is, technically, the struggle between protagonist and antagonist when they both want the same thing. Readers will experience a variety of emotions, vicarious and sympathetic, when they become invested in the outcome of a story and its world. As JM Straczynski put it, not knowing what happens later is a minor aspect of the drama in any story. It ...


4

You have two ways to go here. Add to book notes or social media or whatever you wish that you are open to people creating sequels and will grant permission to do so on a case by case basis. Then you have full control over who can write a sequel (and can weed out things that people call sequels that aren't). Use an existing license like Creative Commons. ...


4

For an example of an ending/beginning like this from contemporary literature, you could look at the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante, which track a pair of Italian women from childhood through to...well, ok, I only just finished the second of four, but it's meant to be a lifelong thing. Both of the first two books end somewhat as you describe -- on a ...


4

Yes, it's possible. While changing genres during a story can leave the audience feeling betrayed - they expected one thing but got something else entirely - but changing genres between stories gives you a chance to let your audience know in advance, through (depending on the medium) trailers, interviews, the front cover, etc. This will lessen the shock, and ...


4

This happens all the time. Brandon Sanderson currently has over half a dozen book series going on that he's already started on: Mistborn, Stormlight Archives, Skyward, Alcatraz, Rithmatist, Elantris and Warbreaker. And I'm not even including the books that he has plans for outside of these series. Jim Butcher is working on the Dresden Files and Cinder Spires ...


3

IANAL but I definitely recommend verifying you're on legally safe ground, even if it means getting authorisation from an author or their estate, as with the example I'll discuss throughout the rest of this answer, which focuses on the writing side. Excluding franchises that were designed to have multiple authors such as The Hardy Boys, by far my favourite ...


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