Quick Thoughts: When Sequels May Be Necessary

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When Sequels May Be Necessary

 

Sequels are perfect when you are writing a story that you know is going to be significantly long. Page lengths for stories really depends on preference—some books can be 200 pages or less, while I have seen some that have easily been over 400 pages.

In the end, page length should not be the major concern. It is all about the story. Once the story has been written, revised, and extracted of its redundancies and excessiveness that does not enhance the story or bring value, then considering the structure of the book can hold importance.

If, as a writer, you intend to write a book that will have a continuation—a sequel, it is easy to know how one book will end and how another will begin. It has already been planned, hopefully before writing the first book, how things will play out. But sometimes, as I have discovered with books such as The Lord Of The Rings, a book may have been intended to be written as one story, but because it ended up being long in page length, it was divided into a second, or more, books. Generally, a standard book is approximately 300 pages, so if a book ends up being 600 pages or more, a sequel may be in order. However, I have seen books that are around 600 pages alone (as said earlier), so this may be especially true and easier to do if the story of the book’s focus evolves over time where the first part of the story is very different from the second part of the story.

If, as a writer, you were not intending to write a sequel, or if you were not sure how long the book would be and even where it would necessary go, like many of my stories, then you may have to evaluate and see if your story has the potential for a sequel or if you need to refine it to a story that is not full of redundancies and excessiveness. This area has been a problem for me and probably is for many writers. Though I have revised my drafted stories at least 3 times, I know more revisions are needed. For those interested, here is an article I discovered a while back that offers another viewpoint on writing stories that are long. The writer compares long stories to hoarding, meaning long stories may be full of too much detail and things that are not needed because they do not add to the story. But the writer also hints to how that is not always the case with long stories. Sometimes it may mean that the story is intended to be a sequel, trilogy, or even, series.

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6 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts: When Sequels May Be Necessary

    1. Hi grotmanharry. Yes, I am currently writing my 3rd novel. I’ve written 2 others, however none has been published or shared as of now since I am editing them and still decided whether I will seek publishing or self publishing. Thanks for asking!

    1. Hi Harliqueen–I write stand alones as well, at least that is how my 2 stories have been, although I have often thought about what kind of story I would write as a sequel.

  1. Great points. I’m trying my hardest not to write my WIP in such a way that it would require a sequel. In fantasy, it’s harder sometimes to pare down the novel to a manageable size (trilogies being all the rage right now), but I plan to go through my first draft and hack away at it until it fits into one novel. Less is often more, after all.

    1. Less can definitely be more, that’s true. But that doesn’t mean that sequels should be avoided. If the story really requires it, sequels can be a good and necessary thing!

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