My experience is that most speculative authors (fantasy especially) set out wanting to craft agrand epic of umpteen books. Since everybody wants this, every editor has seen it. Umpteen times.
For many amateurs/starters, it can become an excuse to get away with simply bad writing. Of course you must
have Loads And Loadsof Characters
to fill all those books. You must
have Info Dumps
To me, the thing that prevents sequelitis is the same thing that makes good sequels. Films like Terminator 2 and Aliens were memorable despite being sequels because they twist
the original idea. Toy Story 2 introduces entirely new problems; Toy Story 3 does again. This is in contrast to sequels which retread the same ground as the original, often in the same order. Should Belgareth and Polgara show up to save the day...again
Aliens took the idea of one original scary alien you never see and took it Up to Eleven
. What if there's hundreds? What if they already have human hostages? What if there's a little girl surviving in the same complex? Terminator 2 gave us the coldhearted machine as an ally. Whereas T1 gave a Stable Time Loop
, T2 gave us contradictions, ethical dilemma. Instead of a terrified waitress on the run, T2 gave us a badass teen who doesn't even know how much danger he's in. And a Mama Bear
so mean she'll preemptively kill innocents just to stop the war.
If your sequel is just the same characters doing more, it'll drag on. Worse, if it's the same bloody plot (unless Played for Laughs
like Austin Powers
), that's tiresome.
The most important thing to me is to write an initial story that stands on its own. And if there is enough content in the universe to support a sequel in the same 'verse, but sufficiently different, it too
should stand on its own.
And the same for each subsequent book.
If you're setting out just to fill pages and volumes, that's all you'll end up doing: Filling.
edited 7th Feb '13 10:30:45 AM by Lomerell