Tips for Writing Sequels

I am currently re-writing Drakon, the sequel to The Alliance: Bloodlines, and thought I’d give some tips for new writers.

When I first started writing Bloodlines, I knew that I wanted the story to at least become a trilogy. At that time I was young and excited, but never really thought about what it would require to write a compelling sequel.  So what do you need to consider when writing your series?

You must always remember to be consistent and keep continuity throughout your whole series. If you make a set of rules in your first novel, those rules need to stay consistent in the sequels. Why? Your readers will remember the rules. If you set a rule of magic or law in book one, but then that rule is not kept in book two, your readers will remember and question you. They will lose belief in your story—in the world that you took so long to create. Make sure to always fact check the events and rules in the previous books to keep the continuity accurate.

The same is true of the actions of your protagonist. Events that happen in book one should have consequences, and in turn those consequences should carry over to the sequels. Example: In Bloodlines there is a character death at the end of the book, but I knew that death couldn’t be forgotten in book two. The death had an impact on the characters so that needed to be expressed in the sequel.

Now while you keep the storyline consistent in each installment of the series, also remember to mix up the plot and formula. If you write each book in the series with the same plot formula, you run the risk of boring your audience with a predictable story. The protagonist should grow with each story, and the challenge should become greater with each book.

For Drakon I know that my characters and story must have continuity, but I will add a fresh element to keep my readers intrigued. I’ve sent them to a new place and put them in a situation of greater peril, but they still have their same voice. The events and their actions in Bloodlines will carry over and effect how they handle the greater challenges that they face in Drakon.

Remember if a character suddenly has a different voice in the sequels, you better have a good explanation for it. Show how the character developed, but never just change the characters personality for no specific reason.

I’ve found it very helpful to make a Word document that lists certain notes that I may need while writing the sequels. While writing scenes that I know will have an impact on possible sequels, I will make a note of it and move on. This keeps me from having to scroll through a complete manuscript a million times trying to remember a specific detail later on.

That’s all for now, but I hope these tips become of some use to someone that is currently or planning to write a sequel. As always keep writing and never give up.

Sequels and Revisions

Hey, just checking in with a quick update. I’ve been fighting a nasty cold all week, but that can’t stop all the characters inside my head! The draft of my latest novel, Sacrifice, is being read by my trusted beta readers. Feedback is slowly flowing in so i’ve been compiling a list of notes for revisions on that project, but my focus has been on The Alliance: Bloodlines sequel.

The most common question that I receive from readers is, “What happened to Jameson Brown while he was in the hell dimension?” Ask and you shall receive! His story will be told in the sequel, so prepare yourselves for Drakon. This sequel will provide a fresh new environment for the demon hunters and friendships will be tested.

Want to Win a Signed Copy of The Alliance: Bloodlines?

If you haven’t gotten your copy of The Alliance: Bloodlines yet, then this contest is just for you! Head over to http://www.Goodreads.com and become a member. Don’t worry it’s free to join! Visit the book’s page here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19514868-the-alliance

Scroll down to where it says: Enter to win a copy of this book. It’s just a simple click and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a signed copy! While you’re on the page, add the book to your “Want to Read” or “Read” list to show your support for Bloodlines!

The contest runs from January 5th 2013 to February 5th 2013. Don’t forget to share with friends and family! Your support is much appreciated and good luck to all!