Sequel days

Ahhh, I am loving writing my sequel. There is one monkey wrench to it, though. How much do I remind people of what happened previously?

I’ve seen books with two or three page synopses of what came before. And I’ve seen books that expect you to either remember well or have reread the previous books. I think I fall somewhere in between, dropping reminders of what happened as we go. After all, characters are going to be thinking of previous events sometimes, to compare what’s currently happening or think about how it all goes together, but if a person who was writing a long series kept doing that, their entire book would become rumination.

How do you like to do it or see it done? Give you as synopsis and let you go? Never mind the synopsis, your memory is fine? Do you reread a first book before you read a sequel? How do you like to drop hints at past events into your writing?

Also, for my birthday, I want this cake:

Courtesy of Cake Wrecks.

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8 thoughts on “Sequel days

  1. Most of the sequels I’ve read were huge…like Harry Potter. In that case, Rowling gave some info on past books in the beginning chapters and highlighted important facts as you went along. It was nice. I like to have a reminder, because, in some cases, it’s been a year or more since the last book came out. I think your middle of the road stance is a good one.

    Good luck!!!

  2. Sequels are a lot tougher than I thought they’d be.

    One tip I’ve employed is to ‘repeat’ the info through different characters in the second book. It not only gives me a chance to present old material, but I can add layers to it because now it’s being told by other people.

  3. I like what Brandon Sanderson does for his fantasy series — he has a two or three page synopsis at the front that lets us know ‘how we got here’, so that if you picked up book two or three and hadn’t read book one, you could dive right in and enjoy the story. If you have read book one, it’s a great reminder of what happened. As a writer, I’m sure it also helps to avoid falling into the backstory trap, so you can get on with the story rather than boring readers with “oh yes, this is because” moments.

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