I’ve written three novels so far, and am about to embark on my fourth. This will be the book after ABOVE WORLD, a continuation of the story that I hope will some day be a trilogy. I’ve never written a sequel before, and I find the new challenge exhilarating and a wee bit terrifying.
Some exciting things about writing a sequel:
– I already know most of the main characters, and I still love them.
– I already know the background for the world and most of its rules.
– I get to explore all sorts of ideas that didn’t fit into book one.
– I get to explore more of the world.
– I get to deepen the characters.
– I get to continue building the bigger story.
Some requirements (imo) for a sequel:
– It should have some of the things readers liked about book 1.
– It should have enough differences from book 1 to keep it fresh.
– I must convey the events of book 1 without too much exposition.
– I must create a satisfying conclusion while simultaneously leaving the door open for book 3.
– I must find new things with which to surprise readers, now that they’re used to the world.
– I must figure out the next steps in each characters’ internal development.
So I’m curious. As a reader, what do you look for in “book 2” of a trilogy? Are you open to drastic changes in tone or subject (think Tombs of Atuan as a follow-up to Wizard of Earthsea)? Do you want the first book all over again? Or are you looking for something else entirely?
If you’re a writer, I’m open to tips and advice. What are you thinking about when you start book 2?