Is it just me, or are there a lot of sequels being released recently? I guess there are always lots of new sequels, but this month it seems like there are a lot more than normal. And not just sequels, but also third, fourth, etc. books in a series. I love reading series and I especially love sequels because they build on the first book, but sometimes they don’t do everything right, and the series is just kind of ruined for me. So here’s what I think makes for a good sequel (most of the time).
It builds on the previous book
I mean this as it strengthens the plot, the characters develop more, etc. So it’s building off of what took place in the previous book and it’s improving and strengthening it even more. I think it’s very important for authors to continue building off of the first book as the series goes on. They have to keep developing the characters, otherwise they all just kind of fall flat. Of course the author has to keep the plot going and make it even stronger and more interesting, Because this is going to be going on for more books to come, so you definitely have to add more and more subplots to the original as well.
Seriously, if the sequel doesn’t stay true to the other books, then the series is just kind of over. For example, if a character has water magic in one book but the author decides to give them fire magic, it just kind of ruins the series. I guess that’s kind of an extreme example, but for real, authors need to stay true to the other books because otherwise things just don’t make sense and it will probably turn readers off.
Has to be creative and new
I also think this is really important. Authors have to continuously find new ways to make their books more original and have to use their creativity. In my opinion, this especially goes towards sequels. The author should take what happened in the previous book and keep going with it, but also add a new, interesting twist to it. ike I said before, the same ongoing plot can get really boring after a few books, so to make a really good sequel, you should keep the plot going, but add new, interesting twists to it.
Remind readers of what happened before
This one is kind of small, but also important. As a reader, if I’m reading a series as each book is released, I tend to forget lots of things. So authors should always make sure to remind readers of what happened by bringing them up here and there. It can be nice when authors fully explain what happened before, but I prefer brief mentions here and there.
Don’t be cliche!
There’s a good tip you should always follow. If you read a lot like I do, you’ve probably noticed a pattern in sequels and their cliches. So authors should always be trying to make their series creative and not following all the typical tropes and cliches of sequels. Branch out and do something crazy and unique with your story! I always love when you expect for one thing to happen in a sequel, but the author does something completely different.